Chorley returned from Yorkshire empty handed as hosts Harrogate Town gain revenge for our 4-0 win at Victory Park back in October.
Chorley kick-off heading up the slight slope of the CNG Stadium and had three early opportunities to take the lead. A James Dean flick-on was cleared, Dale Whitham hit the side netter with a shot following a corner and Josh Hine shot across the face of goal after breaking clear down the right flank.
Town then pressed and Sam Ashton mad a fantastic save, tipping Dave McGurk’s effort over the bar for a corner, from which Town took the lead.
After the corner was swung in Mark Ross collided with a Town player who went down in dramatic style to earn a penalty decision from referee Graeme Fyvie; recent signing Andy Gascoigne stepped up to bag his fifth goal in just six game since joining from Goole.
Whitham was unlucky with a header from a corner, the ball being deflected narrowly side as Chorley looked to level the score.
The game’s key moment then arrived on 19 minutes when captain Andy Teague misjudged the timing of a tackle and Gascoigne caught the full impact of the challenge. Teague was immediately sent off while Gascoigne received length treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off.
A man down Chorley needed to regroup and stand firm, but within two minutes of the game restarting Harrogate extended their lead when Paul Clayton found himself unmarked in the area and headed in from a corner from close range.
Dean tested keeper Peter Crook and the keeper then denied Whitham with a smart save.
Matty Flynn cleared off the line to keep the score to two, then at the other end an Aaron Burns shot almost embarrassed Crook as the keeper initially fumbling the shot almost into his own goal.
After the restart and despite being a man down Chorley searched for a way back into the game, while Town defended in numbers but looked dangerous when on the attack.
Jake Cottrell sent a rasping shot wide with the first effort of the half.
Hine was a constant threat down the right flank; his pace causing the home defence all sorts of problems and more often than not they had to resort to bringing the Chorley forward down to contain him, and his pace was what won the Magpies a goal.
Sam Ashton launched a quick ball forward to end a Town attack; the ball sailing into the home box with Leigh Franks letting the ball drop behind him; Hine sped through and headed the ball over Crooks and just under the bar – game on!
However it was soon game over! Three minutes later more poor defending allowed Jack Emmett time and space to pick his spot from six yards giving Ashton no chance.
Chris Almond replaced the now out of position (and out of sorts) Burns, and soon after Harry Winter came on for Adam Roscoe.
Despite the changes Chorley couldn’t get another goal then twenty minutes from time Flynn was caught the wrong side of Jordan Thewlis and pulled down the player, who stepped up to convert the resulting penalty.
Both sides had half chances in the remaining minutes, but the result was in no doubt what so ever; you can’t expected anything else when you gift four goals, so the three points stayed on “t’other side oth’ills”!
It was revealed on twitter later in the evening that Andy Gascoigne had suffered fractures to both his tibia & fibula; everyone at Chorley FC sends their best wished to midfielder and hopes he makes a full recovery.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Matt Flynn, Jake Cottrell, Dale Whitham, Adam Roscoe, James Dean, Aaron Burns, Josh Hine
Subs: Harry Winter (Roscoe, 68), Paul Jarvis, Chris Almond (Burns, 61), Jack Lynch, Chris Simm
Goals: Andy Gascoigne (9, pen), Paul Clayton (24), JOSH HINE (54), Jack Emmett (57), Jordan Thewlis (70, pen)
Red Card: ANDY TEAGUE (19)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Josh Hine, deserved his goal and was our main threat throughout