HomeSTATSMatch ReportsSeason 2012/13Chorley 1-0 Ilkeston FC - 01/09/2012

Chorley 1-0 Ilkeston FC - 01/09/2012

Saturday September 1st, 3pm

CHORLEY were forced to play the final 30 minutes of this match against Ilkeston FC with just ten men after Tom Walker, who has had wretched last twelve months through injury, was stretchered from a field with a dislocated shoulder minutes after Garry Flitcroft had made his third and final substitution.

Already midway through the first half we lost left sided central defender Andy Russell through injury, so the damage sustained in this win may be felt for some time to come.

In baking conditions the team worked like Trojans to ensure the goal advantage gained through debutant Darren Stephenson wasn’t lost, and indeed the new striker put in a shift-and-a-half as he finished the game played as a lone striker.

Dale Whitham made his first starting appearance since midway through last season with Jamie Vermiglio and Chris Denham also both returning from injury, while in goal Jack Cudworth got off to a solid and confident start to his Chorley career.

In an entertaining match, both sides had their chances and in the main both teams defended well with the keepers have few ‘proper’ saves to make, though the visitors defence was the busier of the two.

Andy Teague and Dale Whitham both saw shots blocked following an early Tom Ince corner, then another Ince delivery was met by Whitham’s head but the ball went just wide.

At the other end Cudworth raced off his line to make a block tackle as Ilkeston attacked on the break, but Andy Russell picked up an injury during this attack and had to with withdrawn from the action on 21 minutes, with Mark Ross replacing him.

The Magpies had a strong spell of pressure with Ince, Stephenson and Whitham all failing to make the most of their chances, then Ciaran Kilheeney flicked on a Ross long throw and watch as the ball agonisingly bounced narrowly wide of the far post.

Ilkeston then had a chance from a deep cross, but the header sailed harmlessly over the bar.

Whitham, looking well on the way to the form he showed two seasons ago, headed another chance wide, this time from a Simon Garner cross before Stephenson had a shot blocked when played in by Kilheeney as Chorley looked for a way through.

Loan signing Stephenson was outstanding throughout with his pace and power giving the visiting defenders a real headache, and again he was close to scoring, but his sliced effort from an awkward angle failed to trouble the keeper. Teague then had another go at goal but again the Ilkeston defence was up to the challenge and finally Garner volleyed wide from close range when he should have done better.

So at the interval it was all square, but not for long as Stephenson made is a scoring debut on 48 minutes, netting calmly at the far post from an Ince cross.

Adam Roscoe replaced Jamie Vermiglio immediately after the goal

Ilkeston then had their best spell of the match, and this time it was the other debutant, Jack Cudworth, who stepped up to the mark with three fine saves to deny the visitors; a punch, a well taken save and a block all in the space of five minutes, and all handled without the slightest problem.

Back down the other end Stephenson was looking for a second but his rocket of a shot was deflected to Ince, who then shot and saw yet another Ilkeston body get in the way. Chris Denham replaced Kilheeney on 57 minutes, Garry’s final change of personnel.

Stephenson stormed through the centre but was tackled, however this almost resulted in an own goal, but went narrowly wide. From the resultant corner Teague headed into the crowd!

Just after this play was held up while Tom Walker, who fell awkwardly on the edge of the box, received treatment then had to be stretchered from the pitch and looked in obvious pain.

With all three subs on and at least twenty five minutes to play, Garry had to shuffle the pack in an attempt to at least hold onto what he had.

However, as the game progressed it was difficult to tell that we were numerically at a disadvantage as to a man the team stepped up a gear, with the tireless Stephenson leading from the front harrying and chasing every ball and indeed almost took in Ilkeston defenders head off with the power of one shot!

Cudworth was called into action as Ilkeston looked for a leveller, but the Whittle based keeper saved well.

Tom Ince then joined defenced well for both sides, inadvertently blocking a Roscoe drive at one end then clearing off the line at the other.

With the game approaching five minutes of injury time Cudworth pulled off the save of the game, only to see his glory moment diminished by a late offside flag.

Ilkeston had one last chance, but the 25 yard effort sailed aimlessly wide, then with the final whistle the Magpies celebrated a hard earned and well deserved win against a dangerous Ilkeston team, but all thoughts were with Tom Walker.

Chorley XI: Jack Cudworth, Kieran Walmsley, Tom Walker, Andy Teague, Andy Russell, Simon Garner, Dale Whitham, Jamie Vermiglio, Ciaran Kilheeney, Darren Stephenson, Tom Ince

Subs: Mark Ross (Russell, 21) Steve Flitcroft, Steve Foster, Chris Denham (Kilheeney, 57), Roscoe (Vermiglio, 48)

Att: 658

Goal: DARREN STEPHENSON (48) Man of the Match: Darren Stephenson, made a massive impact and at just 19 years old looks a real prospect for the future – can we keep him Liam?


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