After a goalless opening 45 minutes The Magpies went into overdrive in the second half to inflict a three-nil defeat on former football league side Stockport County.
While our rise up the pyramid under Garry Flitcroft has been spectacular, the demise of County has been even greater. Prior to Flitcroft taking charge at Victory Park no one would have dreamt we’d be playing competing on level terms with Stockport County, let alone beating them three-nil; but a goal from Adam Roscoe and two from Darren Stephenson ensured the first competitive meeting between the two clubs went in the favour of the home side.
Injuries have been an issue in recent weeks, and tonight was no different with central defender Tom Smyth being withdrawn just 10 minutes into the game following what appeared to be a hamstring injury. With Teaguey already missing this mean Mark Ross moved to the centre alongside Chris Doyle and Dale Whitham slotting in a right-back; Harry Winter coming off the bench to join the midfield.
Despite this early setback it didn’t after the Magpies play as although neither side really tested either keeper in the first 45 minutes, the game flowed with both sides attacking.
Chris Simm continued to recent fine form, meaning suspended top scorer James Dean will have a fight on to regain his place in the side now his suspension is finished.
On the half hour there were loud shouts for a Chorley penalty after Simm appeared to be pushed to the ground, but nothing was given while striker partner Stephenson was a danger throughout and came close on several occasions before the break.
Stockport had their chances too. Richie Baker shot just wide from 20 yards and Scott Spencer’s volleyed effort on the stroke of half time flew inches wide, with many of the 553 travelling supporters thinking it had gone in!
After the restart Winter went close but shot well wide, then on the hour mark an obvious handball on the edge of the area was missed by the referee; Mr Richardson waiving play on when the Magpies had a clear case for the penalty kick.
Kristian Dennis volleyed over for the visitors before the Magpies were again claiming for handball. This time inside the area, but again Mr Richardson was having none of it, instead awarding a corner.
However from the corner kick Adam Roscoe nodded home to give the home side a deserved lead, notching his 50th goal for the club in 243 appearances from two spells since his debut just over nine years ago.
Flitcroft made two changes in quick succession to ensure the high energy pressing game could be maintain and immediately this brought a reward when Chris Almond was involved in creating the second goal.
Darren Stephenson, who fought on every inch of the pitch beat his man and fired a rocket into the net from the edge of the area to double the lead netting his 38th goal for the club in is 101st appearance.
Almond was a real threat and will be pushing for a place in the starting line-up now he’s over his injury problems and was unlucky to see a shot deflected wide with ten minutes remaining.
With time running our County started to push forward, looking for a way back into the game and Simm should have added a third in the 90th minute but somehow managed to slide a shot wide from two yards.
Four minutes of added time were almost up when Stephenson put the icing on the cake, rounding Ian Ormson before slotting into an empty goal to take his personal tally to 39.
Next up on Saturday are basement side Hyde FC, kick-off at Victory Park is 3pm.
Starting XI: Aaron Grundy, Mark Ross, Jake Cottrell, Chris Doyle, Tom Smyth, Josh Hine, Darren Stephenson, Dale Whitham, Chris Simm, Adam Roscoe, Adam Mather
Subs: Paul Jarvis, Jack Lynch (Roscoe, 71), Harry Winter (Smyth, 9), Chris Almond (Hine, 73), Astley Mulholland
Goals: ADAM ROSCOE (62), DARREN STEPHENSON (74, 90+4)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Darren Stephenson, outstanding throughout and deserved his goals