Defending champions Chorley booked their place in the Lancashire FA Trophy Final with a comfortable 3-0 victory against Colne at the County Ground writes Jack Wynne.
After a goalless first-half, Darren Stephenson broke the deadlock in the 54th minute, converting from the penalty spot after Alexander Coleman was penalized for handball.
The Mapgies extended their lead four minutes later, Kieran Charnock tapping the ball into the back of the net from close range after Colne failed to clear Andy Bond’s corner-kick.
With a quarter of an hour left to play, Jordan Connerton guaranteed Chorley’s place in the final, diverting substitute James Dean’s cross beyond Colne goalkeeper Chris Thompson and into the back of the net.
The Reds almost took a shock lead inside the first minute after Chorley were caught in possession which gifted Jason Hart the chance to test Chorley goalkeeper Sam Ashton but his shot from inside the box was saved comfortably.
27 minutes played, Stephenson with his back to goal, cut inside before launching a shot straight into the grateful hands of Thompson.
Two minutes later, Bond’s free kick from just outside the box looked to be creeping in the bottom left-hand corner but for a fine save from Thompson.
At the other end, Hart darted towards goal but didn’t have an end product, curling his shot straight over the bar.
Connerton nearly diverted substitute Dale Whitham’s cross into the top corner with a looping header inside the box but Thompson had other ideas, pushing the ball over the bar.
37 minutes played, Lee Pugh tried to find the top corner with a curling shot from outside the box but his effort sailed straight into the stand.
Five minutes before the interval, Hart picked out Daniel Boyle, who turned Kieran Charnock before forcing Ashton to make an important stop.
Into the second half, Stephenson veered away from goal before trying to power a shot from outside the box but the ball just ended up the wrong side of the post.
A minute later, Stephenson put the Magpies at ease, firing home a penalty kick after Coleman appeared to block Connerton’s shot from outside the box with his hand.
Connerton looked to have added his name to the scoresheet, but Thompson showed lightning reflexes to deny the Chorley striker from close range.
Just before the hour mark, Charnock fired in a second for the Magpies, the Chorley defender being the quickest to react after Colne failed to clear Bond’s corner kick.
64 minutes played, Hart looked to reduce the deficit but he dragged his shot wide of the right-hand post from outside the box.
Connerton put the result beyond any doubt in the 75th minute, latching onto Dean’s cross from deep and diverting the ball beyond the reach of Thompson.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, Tom Field looked to score his first goal for Chorley but curled the ball wide of the left-hand post from the edge of the area.
Dean missed a glorious chance to add his name to the scoresheet in the 89th minute, blazing the ball straight over from close range.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Will Beesley, Keiran Charnock, Tom Field, Jake Cottrell, Pau Jarvis, Jack Lynch, Jordan Connerton, Andy Bond, Darren Stephenson
Subs: Dale Whitham (Jarvis), Andy Teague, Vinney Bailey, Raul Correira (Connerton), James Dean (Stephenson)
Goals: Stephenson (54), Charnock (58), Connerton (75)