Chorley returned to winning ways after a hard fought victory at Brackley Town to complete a league double over the Saints writes Josh Vosper.
Chris Simm scored the only goal for the Magpies, who sit eighth in the table, with games in hand over the teams above. Before the game, boss Garry Flitcroft made a number of changes from the team that faced Leamington mid-week. Stand in skipper Dale Whitham joined the back line at right back, as Mark Ross joined Matthew Flynn in the centre half position due to Morecambe loanee Chris Doyle suffering from a stomach muscle injury. Winter and Roscoe joined the midfield and experienced striker Chris Simm started up front, with Josh Hine not even featuring in the squad due to a badly bruised calf from Thursday’s training session.
The game started slowly as Chorley looked to get a foothold in the game, facing a strong wind on a flat yet bobbly pitch. After just six minutes, an Adam Mather free-kick was whipped into the box but Flynn could only head over. Seconds later at the other end Brackley were causing the visitors havoc. After a dangerous run into the box by Will Green, it looked as though Mark Ross had handled the ball, but referee Craig Hicks waved the appeals away. Both teams were struggling to get the ball down and on 17 minutes the home side suffered a major blow. After a challenge on the goalkeeper, Brackley shot stopper Billy Turley limped off the pitch, bringing Dean Snedker into the fray. The young keeper was soon tested as Whitham put in a dangerous cross but he saved Roscoe’s effort quite comfortably. With time ticking on Brackley pushed forward yet again, as Sam Ashton jumped off his line, missing the ball completely to leave the Magpies exposed at the back. Defender Flynn put a last ditch tackle on Kaziboni as the home side screamed for a spot kick yet again. Although the referee didn’t look interested and carried on with play as Chorley broke forward with Adam Mather causing problems on the left hand side.
On the half hour mark Ashton made a comfortable save to his left and Roscoe headed over. Defender Chris Carruthers then left the field of play, as the home side suffered yet another injury. After 33 minutes, Chorley created their first clear cut chance of the game. After a dangerous ball into the box by Mather, James Dean turned well in the box to shoot just over the bar. Minutes later Harry Winter hit an effort just wide of the post. With five minutes of the half remaining, Chorley started to press the home side and cause problems. Mather crossed yet again, as James Dean knocked on to Dorney who just missed contact on the ball as he stretched out wide. After the interval Chorley continued in the same vein as Chris Simm constantly looked a threat in and around the box. Numerous corners were launched into the Brackley area, as Chorley were starting to get frustrated as attempts on goal either got blocked or went out of play.
After much pressure, a deserved goal finally arrived on 63 minutes. Skipper Dale Whitham gathered the ball on the right, to lay onto James Dean who put a floating cross in for Chris Simm to head home past the scrambling Snedker who was off his line. The striker was obviously delighted as he ran over to the travelling Magpie faithful, stood on the terracing and celebrating. Minutes later Flitcroft made his first change of the game as Almond replaced Dorney. By now, Chorley were making good use of the pitch and playing some positive football. As time wore on Brackley made the odd run into the box but nothing rarely troubled Sam Ashton in goal. With ten minutes remaining James Dean had chance to add two for the buoyant visitors, but his effort from just outside the box went wide of the post. The home side did pressure the Magpies with time ticking on but the Chorley back-line stood firm, as Whitham marshalled his players magnificently. After no indication of added time, referee Craig Hicks finally blew for full-time as Chorley bagged three valuable points against a tricky Brackley side.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Dale Whitham, Adam Mather, Mark Ross, Matthew Flynn, Adam Roscoe, James Dean, Harry Winter, Chris Simm, Jack Dorney, Jake Cottrell.
Subs: Almond (Dorney), Grundy, Burns, Lynch, Jarvis (Simm).
Goals: CHRIS SIMM (63)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: James Dean, ran tirelessly all day and turned provider for the goal that clinched all three points.