Chorley produced their own fireworks on a night where the club went second having made it six wins on the bounce and sent home visitors Matlock Town with a lot to ponder on with a 3-1 defeat writes James Field.
Chorley’s triumphant return at long last to Victory Park was graced with a superb opening goal by Jake Cottrell after just 6 minutes. A well-crafted move down the right side of the field resulted with Dean crossing from the by-line deep towards the edge of the box. The ball was brilliantly met by Cottrell whose effortless chest control allowed him to volley the ball into the bottom corner leaving the keeper with no chance.
Chorley came close to capping off a thrilling 10 minutes but where denied by the crossbar as Roscoe unleashed a bullet of a strike from 25 yards, Matlock where on the ropes.
After 25 minutes Matlock had offered up very little in attack and where struggling to find a ball through midfield to the attackers. On the other hand Chorley’s direct and quick attacking was causing the travellers many problems and a second goal looked imminent.
However as the half went on Matlock began to settle and where keeping possession well in midfield but couldn’t quite find the final pass and where unable to create any goal scoring opportunities. Eventually they did force a save out of the Magpies’ Sam Ashton as he saved low to his right after Matlock forged a well-constructed move down the left hand side but the shot towards the front post was rather tamed.
At half time Chorley went in with a 1 goal lead and overall would have been pleased by the performance following an energetic start which saw them break the deadlock early on. However Matlock would have encouraged that they could still get a result due to their strong finish to the half but knew that they would have to put the Chorley back-line under more pressure.
However despite seeming to settle into the game in the first half Matlock came out asleep to the second and the superb Magpies where in no mood to let them off lightly and right from the off they mounted pressure onto the Gladiators back line.
The inevitable shortly followed as Chorley doubled their lead after 50 minutes with James Dean firing in from close range. The goal resulted from a burst down the left flank from Stephenson who ran directly at the exposed defence and reached the edge of the box before precisely placing a right-footed shot toward the far corner. The keeper could only palm it into a dangerous area where after a blocked shot fell directly to Dean who confidently struck home Chorley’s second.
Matlock’s poor start to the half continued and they struggled to find an accurate pass whereas the home side’s quick direct football was too much for the travellers to follow. Most of the threat from Chorley was coming down the left side where continuously throughout the second half Stephenson would peel out wide and run at the defence, Dean was also causing the centre backs problems and they were struggling to contain him.
The relentless pressure paid off for Chorley when the game was killed off in the 62nd minute by a header direct from a corner by Teague. Chorley’s captain was unmarked in the middle and an in-swinging ball towards the back post resulted in the unmarked Teague with a free header that he didn’t pass up and left the keeper again with no chance.
Chorley after their third goal evidently began to ease up on a win that had been guaranteed by an excellent opening period to the second half. Matlock did therefore come back into the game but didn’t look like scoring.
However just after Chorley’s talisman Dean went off to a rapturous reception Matlock did secure a consolation goal in the 85th minute. The goal came from some finish as well where some patient build up from the Gladiators paid off when a loose ball was ceased upon first by Bradley Grayson who looped the ball into the bottom corner from just outside the box. That would be all though for the small group of Matlock fans to cheer on the night as Chorley’s win was shortly confirmed. The result was richly deserved by Chorley who’s direct play was eye-catching in moments, however Matlock will travel back to Derbyshire knowing really in the match.
Bonfire night got better for Chorley as news spread across Victory Park that promotion rivals Fylde had suffered a loss to Nantwich Town meaning the Magpies have now risen to second in the table.