Saturday April 21st, 3pm
CHORLEY made a giant stride toward the goal of promotion to the Blue Square North with a victory over nearest rivals Bradford Park Avenue then ensures home advantage in the play-offs.
Regardless of Northwich Victoria’s appeal on Tuesday, this result means that we are at home no matter the outcome. Should the Vics win their appeal then next Saturday will be a repeat of today’s game, but if the Vics appeal fails them we’ll entertain FC United of Manchester instead. And should we qualify for the final then we’ll again be at home as Northwich, who finished second in the league, have to concede home advantage due to losing their ground midseason.
Back to the game, and a fantastic double from man-of-the-match Adam Roscoe and a poacher’s finish from top scorer Steve Foster brought a winning end to the regular season for the Magpies.
Ciaran Kilheeney had the first chance of the game on seven minutes but his early attempt was easy for John Lamb in the Avenue goal.
But two minutes later the deadlock was broken in spectacular style. Following a Chorley corner Andy Russell headed the ball toward Roscoe, who after checking over his shoulder slammed in an overhead kick giving Lamb no chance.
Jamie Vermiglio, back in action after missing the last four games following an injury in the reverse fixture at the start of April, was in fine form and released Kilheeney on 22 minutes, but the striker was tackled on the edge of the area when about to shoot.
Five minutes later Vermiglio was again the provider, this time for Foster but his attempted chip went just over the bar.
Captain Andy Teague headed narrowly wide from a corner as the Magpies searched for a second, but they had to be on their guard as Avenue’s Alex Davidson hit the woodwork immediately after at the over end.
The visitors then had a spell of pressure, but Russell Saunders was in top form.
After the interval the visitors drew level with a well worked free-kick that was finished by Richard Marshall, but parity only lasted five minutes as a Roscoe rocket soared into the top of the net from 20 yards.
Kilheeney came close with a header off a Foster cross that Lamb superbly saved.
John Cunliffe replaced the influential Vermiglio and added a new dimension to the Chorley attack and it was Cunliffe who created the third and final goal a minute from time. The tricky forward turned his marker and advanced through the inside left channel, he then drew the keeper out before squaring for Foster for a typical poachers goal to seal the three points and small matter of home advantage next week.
In they dying minutes Bradford struck the frame of the goal for the second time in the game.
Starting XI: Russell Saunders, Mark Ross, Chris Denham, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Jamie Vermiglio, Adam Roscoe, Steve Flitcroft, Ciaran Kilheeney, Steve Foster, Tom Ince
Subs: John Cunliffe (Vermiglio, 61), Tom Williams (Denham, 84), Matt Walwyn, Ashley Parillon (Roscoe, 89), Ally Brown
Goals: ADAM ROSCOE (9), Richard Marshall (47), ADAM ROSCOE (51), STEVE FOSTER (89)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Adam Roscoe, two outstanding goals and a solid performance throughout.