Chorley came very close to booking their place in the quarter-finals of this season’s FA Trophy, but will have to make do with a reply against Skrill Premier side Tamworth.
The 11 players on the pitch did the 507 travelling Magpies proud and came close to knocking out their loftier opponents at the first attempt thanks to Adam Mathers 52nd minute strike, but a penalty converted by ex-Everton striker Nick Chadwick seven minutes later took the tie to a second game which will be played at The Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.
Chorley kicked off the first half heading down the slope and facing the low sun meaning keeper Sam Ashton’s kit today included a cap.
The home side started the brighter, controlling possession, but not fully testing Ashton in front of the Chorley contingent, while the Magpies probed whenever they could get the ball.
As the Magpies grew into the game opening were created. Mather crossing for James Dean, but the striker headed wide, then Paul Jarvis put a deep swinging cross in but it evaded everyone.
Captain Andy Teague latched onto a Mark Ross long throw in the 11th minute, but his shot cannoned off the post and flow across the face of the goal before going out for a throw with home keeper Cameron Belford well beaten.
Tamworth replied with former PNE apprentice Richard Baker beating the offside trap but putting his shot well side with only Ashton to beat.
Two Tamworth free-kicks in quick succession where cleared by Teague as ex-Watford man Gavin Mahon’s experience looked to be giving the home side an edge in the midfield battle.
Another Mather cross targeted Dean, but this time the striker headed just over the bar then a minute later Belford made the first real save of the game to keep out an Adam Roscoe header from a Mather corner, diving to his right.
Baker got onto the end of a long punt from Belford, but his effort curled wide.
Dale Whitham then had two half chances, the first controlling a Mather free-kick on his chest then volley over the bar with his back to goal and following this up with a header that went wide from a Jarvis cross.
The half draw to an end just after Dean miscued a shot when six yards out.
After the interval the Magpies started the stronger, getting balls into the box and after just seven minutes of play Chorley were ahead.
Although Mather has scored this season, they’re normally free-kick specials, but his goal today was more akin to a Josh Hine striker. The left back raced onto a Dean flick-on, raced toward goal and coolly and calmly slotted the ball beyond the outstretched Belford into the far corner.
However the lead didn’t last. With Teague and Keil O’Brien in close proximity Lloyd Kerry went to ground in spectacular fashion – yes a penalty was correct but the dramatic fall is something only usually viewed in the Premier League! Chadwick smashed an unstoppable spot-kick in off the underside of the cross bar.
Soon after the goal Mather was withdrawn from the action as a precaution with Darren Stephenson replacing him and Jarvis slotting in a left-back.
Following the goal Tamworth looked for a second, but stout defending kept the home side at bay.
Belford did well to prevent Dean from netting, turning the strikers drive around the post, then at the other end Ross superbly headed clear.
Belford again kept Tamworth level, this time preventing Dean from putting his name on the score sheet
With a little over ten minutes remaining the save of the game came from Ashton, a lunging save preventing a Mahon headed from crossing the line, then immediately after his stood tall, forcing Chadwick to blaze high and wide.
Stephenson should have hit the target with an effort on the break, but his shot going narrowly wide of the far post.
As the game entered the five additional minutes (where they came from no one knows), the action continued as first Dean blocked a Tamwoth effort and Teague tackled like a Trojan to keep the hosts out.
The final attempt on goal saw O’Brien headed a free-kick wide narrowly wide.
At the final whistle the playing staff and management applauded their travelling support, who in turn applauded the special effort the team had put in today.
Monday’s quarter-final draw will see ‘little’ Chorley in the hat now the lowest ranked side still in the competition following Hungerford Town’s exit, here are the results from today’s games:
- Cambridge United 2-2 Luton Town
- Aldershot Town 3-0 Guiseley AFC
- Hungerford Town 0-1 Gosport Borough
- Eastleigh 3-2 Dover Athletic
- Tamworth 1-1 Chorley
- Lincoln City 0-4 North Ferriby United
- Grimsby Town 2-1 Maidenhead United
- Havant & Waterlooville 1-0 Ebbsfleet United
Chorley XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Keil O'Brien, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Adam Roscoe, Paul Jarvis
Subs: Darren Stephenson (Mather, 60), Keiran Walmsley, Jamie Vermiglio, Simon Wiles, Aaron Grundy
Att: 1209, with 507 from Chorley
Goals: ADAM MATHER (52) Nick Chadwick (59, pen)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: more people of the match, awarded to all the 507 supporters