Tuesday August 6th, 7.30pm
Chorley recorded a convincing five-one win in their first truly competitive pre-season fixture of the summer.
After playing the full Preston squad, the youth sides of Bolton Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United then local site Euxton Villa, Evo-Stik First Division North side Salford City represented our first realistic opposition, and the hosts got off to a flyer!
In only the second minute and with the sun burning into his eyes, Magpies keeper Sam Ashton’s poor touch gifted Salford an easy goal, but the lead only lasted a minute as Darren Stephenson turned in a Dale Whitham nod down from a Tom Baker corner.
As the game settled down Salford battled hard in a full bloodied contest that no doubt tested both sides pre-season build-ups. Neither side give an inch to their opponents, however the extra quality the Magpies had told in the end.
There were several former ex-Magpies in attendance, including Phil Power and Denis Haslam on the Salford coaching staff, as well as Trafford assistant Wayne Goodison and Charlie Pawsey, a centre back from our Conference days, in the sparse crowd casting a watchful eye over the Magpies.
Stephenson thought he has put Chorley into the lead only to see his effort rules out for a push in the area, then a Salford strike flew narrowly over the bar.
With a little over ten minutes to the interval Franz Beckenbauer, sorry Keil O’Brien, strode through the Salford midfield, then through their defence, and then with the skill of Dennis Bergkamp slotted the ball calmly under the home keeper – without a doubt the goal of the season so far! Had the camera’s been there this goal would have been replayed on Sky Sports News until the tape broke!!!
Four minutes later Dale Whitham netted the Magpies third with a spectacular volley after Josh Hine superb control and lay-off.
Hine almost added a fourth as half time approached, dribbling through the box before his rasping cross come shot beat everyone and the far post.
After the break Keiran Walmsley should had added the fourth from 12 yards, but after winning the penalty himself his blasted kick was deflected over by the keeper, our second penalty miss of the summer!!!
As the substitutions counted ticked over the fluency of the game dropped, but the Magpies were always in control.
Whitham headed against the bar, the sub Paul Jarvis nodded a chance wide.
With eight minutes remaining the fourth goal finally arrived with Stephenson blasted home his second, then minutes later Adam Mather capped a fine personal pre-season sliding home the fifth after following in a Tom Ince effort.
Chorley XI: Sam Ashton, Keiran Walmsley, Adam Mather, Paul O’Brien, Keil O’Brien, Jake Cottrell, Carlos Roca, Tom Baker, Dale Whitham, Josh Hine, Darren Stephenson
Subs: Tom Ince, Jamie Vermiglio, Paul Jarvis, Mark Ross, plus trialists.
Goals: Salford City (2), DARREN STEPHENSON (3), KEIL O’BRIEN (37), DALE WHITHAM (40), DARREN STEPHENSON (82), ADAM MATHER (85)