Saturday April 7th, 3pm
CHORLEY had to come from behind against a Chasetown side that one this display should not be fighting for their lives in a relegation scrap.
After last Monday’s defeat Garry Flitcroft recalled Steve Foster and Matt Walwyn to the starting line-up.
After a fairly even opening to the game Chasetown took the lead from the spot when for the second game in succession Adam Roscoe was cruelly ruled to have deliberately handballed, thought the distance the ball travelled today was a little further than Monday’s. Mark Branch stepped up to convert the spot kick, cooler placing it down the centre after Russell Saunders had dived to his left.
However the Magpies were only behind for five minutes. The Scholars thought they had cleared the danger of a Chorley attack, but Tom Ince sided footed the ball forward from the half way line finding Adam Roscoe. His deft flick-on landed in the path of ace-marksman Ciaran Kilheeney, who slammed the ball beyond Lee Evans in the visitors goal, giving him no chance at all.
Matt Walwyn then has his customary dribble and shot, which stung the palms of the diving Evans from 25 yards.
Just after the half hour mark the Magpies went in front and who else but Steve Foster, fresh from being presented the Evo-Stik Player of the Year award on the pitch prior to kick-off, and his finish was every bit was precise and powerful as Kilheeney’s earlier strike.
After the interval the home performance was a little flat and Chasetown got back into the game with Russell Saunders the busier keeper.
John Cunliffe replaced Walwyn as the manager looked to spark some life into the home team and this nearly paid off as Cunliffe was involved in the build-up to a chance for Fozzie, but the striker was offside when he chipped the keeper from 18 yards.
Chasetown, increasing in confidence as Chorley started to show some nerves in their performance, were rewarded for their endeavour with an equaliser from Danny Quinn; volleying in at the far post from a deep cross.
Tom Williams replaced Chris Denham then Ashley Parillon replaced Steve Foster, and these changes started to turn the tide as the Magpies looked more balanced in the middle of the park.
Kilheeney turned his marker on the halfway line and headed for goal like an exocet, but Evans this time was up to the challenge.
Then with just six minutes on the clock the points were won.
Earlier in the season it took a Matt Jansen equalisers two minutes into injury time to rescue a point at Church Street, and today’s game looked to be heading the same way until robust striker Gary Birch tumbled in the Chorley area, handling the ball. Foster beat the keeper from 12 yards to secure the points.
On this showing Chasetown shouldn’t be where they are in the table, and if they can reproduce this type of performance then they’ll be back in the Evo-Stik Premier Division next season. As for ourselves, we can secure our play-off place on Monday with a win at Kendal Town if Chasetown can do ourselves and themselves a favour by beating there closest neighbours Hednesford Town.
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Matt Walwyn, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Adam Roscoe, Chris Denham, Steve Flitcroft, Cairan Kilheeney, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: Tom Williams (Denham, 69), Ally Brown, Ashley Parillon (Flitcroft, 77), John Cunliffe (Walwyn, 56), Jordan Bowen
Goals: Mark Branch (17 Pen), CIARAN KILHEENEY (22), STEVE FOSTER (31), Danny Quinn (64), STEVE FOSTER (84 Pen)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Steve Foster, making a mockery of the one-goal-a-game myth!