The Magpies silenced the Lambs and gained some revenge for last season’s FA Trophy penalty shoot-out defeat, but it was a fiery first half performance from the home side that had most people talking.
Before the ball had been kicked in anger, or in any real way, Tamworth’s tactics were there for all to see (apart from the referee that is) when Lambs Captain Dan Preston threw James Dean to the floor inside the penalty area while waiting for a corner to be taken. Both players got a good talking too, just to prove the match officials missed the incident as there was only guilt only on one side.
The game then settled down and Dean flicked a long ball from Andy Teague, but James Belshaw saved easily.
Darren Stephenson, who never stopped running all afternoon, saw an effort blocked and Adam Mather’s follow-up on the rebound suffered the same fate.
With a little over fifteen minutes to the break and the match poised and goalless, Tamworth started to implode when Shane Clarke launched himself into a challenge on Jack Dorney that made Kyle Jacobs challenge last week look like a tickle! Diving feet first, two footed and with stood showing, one outcome was never in doubt, a straight red and luckily Dorney was more shaken than injured and was able to carry on.
With a man advantage Chorley took the game to the hosts more than before but it took until the 40th minute to find a way past the hosts, when a ball from Mather on the left flank was deftly nodded over the keeper by Hine.
Going a goal down appear to shake the home side and Paul Green was soon following Clarke for an early bath after he launched himself into an aerial challenge with Jake Cottrell, striking the Chorley midfielder with his elbow. Again, a straight red was never in doubt but unlike Dorney in the earlier challenge Cottrell had to be replaced to receive stitched to a wound and later commented on twitter “Just left my face in Tamworth”.
Down to nine men, Tamworth had to reshape, but Chorley caught them cold when Dean raced through and volleyed home.
After the interval it was always going to be a case of damage limitations for the home side who now played with a four-three-one formation, but while many expected Chorley to look for goals Garry Flitcroft took a different tact, effectively giving his plays rest with an eye on Tuesday night’s home game with North Ferriby United.
Denying the home side space was easy with a two man advantage, while moving the ball and teasing their defence kept them on their two, but unless the 9-man could put in a remarkable second 45 minutes the result was not in any doubt.
To be fair to Tamworth they did managed to fashion two openings, one a cross-come-shot that bounced off the bar, but as the clock ticked on Chorley’s dominance of possession grew and a third goal looked on the cards for the coasting Magpies.
Stephenson raced through on the left and unlike when in a similar position on the same ground last season when his shot went wide that could have won the tie, he squared to Hine who tapped in from close range.
Chorley then looked for a fourth with substitute Jack Lynch forcing a save and Jacobs rattling the woodwork in the final stages.
In the end, not the goal fest some at half time were predicting, but no matter how many goals you score you can only pick up at most three points in a match. Job done and now into Tuesday when we entertain on the leagues fancied team, the financially strong North Ferriby United.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Tom Smyth, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Jack Dorney, Darren Stephenson
Subs: Adam Roscoe (Whitham, 44), Paul Jarvis (Cottrell, 45), Jack Lynch (Teague, 76), Chris Almond, Aaron Grundy
Goals: JOSH HINE (40), JAMES DEAN (43), JOSH HINE (86)
Red Cards: Shane Clarke (28), Paul Green (45) – both for violent conduct
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Darren Stephenson, his workrate was exceptional - a real team player