HomeSTATSMatch ReportsSeason 2014/15Chorley 2-0 Stalybridge Celtic 23/08/2014

Chorley 2-0 Stalybridge Celtic 23/08/2014

Saturday August 23rd, 3pm

A comfortable win over Stalybridge Celtic extended the Magpies unbeaten start to the season to four games and also saw the defence record a third successive clean sheet.

Goals in each half from James Dean and Chris Almond where the minimum reward for a powerful performance from the home side.

In an open start to the game both sides traded early jabs, sizing out their opponents and Jake Cottrell had the first sighter of the game, but his sixth minute effort flew side.

Chris Almond, who looks a far different player than when he first signed last season, was a constant threat throughout and combined well with James Dean, Paul Jarvis and Darren Stephenson on his introduction, and his pass to Dale Whitham created the opening goal.

Almond, on the left flank, held off his marker and laid the ball back to Whitham who whipped in a perfect cross for Dean to direct in off the post for the opening on eleven minutes, scoring against one of his former clubs.

Despite the Magpies edging possession, Celtic were a threat and not out of the game with only a single goal separating the sides.   On the half hour mark they has a shout for a penalty turned down than a 30 yard effort was palmed over the bar by the alert Sam Ashton.

Almond had a glorious chance to double the lead on 34 minutes, bursting the defence, but his curling effort beat the keeper and the far post when a square ball to Dean, Harry Winter or Jarvis was perhaps a better option.

After the break Celtic started strong, no doubt on the back of a few words from their manager who later kept the team in the dressing room long after the final whistle, but their best chance of the game on 48 minutes when begging when a poor shot from a great opening was easily gathered by Ashton.

Adam Dodd, a revelation since his signing from Blackpool in the summer, had an effort blocked following a strong run across the area.  From the resulting corner the visitors had to be at their defensive best to keep four efforts out, they then sprang forward on the break but again Ashton was on hand to pull off a great double save.

Cottrell, who ran the Celtic midfielder ragged all day long, received a short pass from Dean and then curled an effort goal ward, but the keeper held well on the hour mark.

Sam Ashton then tried his hand at creating an opening with a powerful punch from a Celtic cross that sprang a Chorley attack.  Dean flicked the clearance onto Stephenson who sprinted toward goal, his first effort was blocked, then a follow up shot was well saved by a defender, who palmed the ball wide for a corner…  yes a corner!!!

Chorley were now well and truly on top and next is was Almonds turn to run at the defence, getting on to the end of another Ashton clearance he raced forward and put in a great cross that was cut out with Stephenson poised to add the finishing touch.

The Magpies had been in control now for so long that complacency set in and the defence we catch ball watching with quarter of an hour to go.  Celtic overturned possession on the half way line and burst forward down the right flank.  A ball across the area was met at the far post but Ashton luckly was awake to the danger made a great blocking save before closing down the rebound, forcing the second effort wide.  This was a big left-off and ensured that form here on the backline where on their toes.

Kyle Jacobs, making a delayed debut due to a suspension carrying over from last season at Stockport County, smashed a shot against the upright, then Almond was put clear through on goal, but couldn’t stretch far enough to get a firm contact on the ball and ended up giving the Celtic keeper an easy catch.

However the Adlington-based player wasn’t to be denied minutes later when he shot in to the bottom corner following great play from Cottrell and Stephenson on the edge of the area to put clear air between the sides.

Cottrell then almost snatched the man-of-the-match award from Almond with a superb volley from the corner of the area, but what would have been an early contender for goal of the season flew inches wide of the far post.

Chorley weren’t finished and Stephenson crossed to Dean, but the strikers effort was matched by the keepers save then in the final minutes following Winter and Andy Teague toying with the Celtic defence out wide, Winter crossed to the far post but despite Dodd’s best effort he couldn’t make contact with the ball.

So the final whistle blew and the Magpies were up to fourth in the table – early days but a great start to the campaign.  Next up Barrow on Bank Holiday Monday (KO 6.30pm)

Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Adam Dodd, Andy Teague, Tom Smyth, Jake Cottrell, Paul Jarvis, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Harry Winter, Chris Almond

Subs: Darren Stephenson (Jarvis, 61), Adam Mather, Adam Roscoe (Jacobs, 83), Jack Lynch, Jack Dorney (Dean, 87)

Att: 1022

Goals: JAMES DEAN (11), CHRIS ALMOND (81) Man of the Match: Chris Almond, his second half strike capped a fine performance and just edged him ahead of the rest with Jake Cottrell a close second.

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