At the end of the season tonight’s game won’t be remember for its flowing football or exquisite passing, but the one-nil win over Witton Albion could well go a long way toward helping is achieve our goal of winning the league title.
A Dale Whitham header twelve minutes from time was the difference on the score line oan a night of few chances.
The night didn’t start well for the Magpies with captain Andy Teague having to be withdrawn after just 13 minutes with Nick Anderton making his debut from the bench. This meant Chorley’s back four contained three loan signing; 17-year-old Anderton, Max Cartwright 18 and Alex Nicholson 20 with Mark Ross the “old head” at the back.
Sam Ashton save an early Witton free-kick then Alex Titchiner fired wide as the visitors started well, but the game then settled it a pattern of midfield attrition with little flair and half time arrived with little of note to add.
After the break Darren Stephenson sprang into action, but he couldn’t get the ball from under his feet from a James Dean delivery which drifted just behind him then Dean head straight at Matt Cooper in the Albion goal from a Jake Cottrell cross.
Ashton saved from Titchiner then Cooper denied Stephenson as the action moved from end to end in a vastly improved second period.
On the hour mark Witton went close, but following a goalmouth scramble after the ball came off the woodwork, but the danger was hacked clear.
Changes were made by both sides before Titchiner blasted over the Jack Dorney almost netted from 40 yards. Cooper raced out to beat Josh Hine to the ball outside his area but his clearance landed at the feet of the Chorley sub but his attempted lob drifted narrowly wide.
With twelve minutes remained the stalemate was broken. From a free-kick following a very late challenge on Dorney, Cartwright’s exquisite delivery was perfect for Whitham to head past the Albion keeper to send the home supporters wild.
As often happens in these situations, Witton chased the game and threw everything at the Chorley defence, but the inexperience backline played beyond their years and kept the Albion at bay.
With FC United’s game postponed Chorley moved two points above the Bury/Stalybridge outfit and we now host basement club Droylsden on Saturday while the Rebels travel to Blyth.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Alex Nicholson, Max Cartwright, Andy Teague, Mark Ross, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Jamie Vermiglio, James Dean, Dale Whitham, Darren Stephenson
Subs: Paul Woolcott (Vermiglio, 70), Nick Anderton (Teague, 13), Chris Almond, Jack Dorney (Cottrell, 67), Adam Roscoe.
Goal: DALE WHITHAM (78)
Chorleyfc.com “Boys” of the Match: The three loan signings, all played extremely well showing maturity and experience beyond their years.