BRADFORD PARK AVENUE
The Magpies recorded their first league double of the season, with a second three-nil victory over struggling Bradford Park Avenue.
Two months ago Sefton Gonzales, Dale Whitham and Will Beesley all netted in the our first win of the season. Today Jake Cottrell (don’t believe the claims of an OG) and a Whitham double secured the points and with a defence that has now recorded nine clean sheet in fourteen games we have a platform to build on and today saw us stretch our unbeaten run in the league to nine games.
The Horsfall Stadium hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for us, but from the off the Magpies played with a purpose and deservedly took the lead on 8 minutes when Cottrell’s shot from 20 yards took a slight deflection to beat Joe Cracknell in the Avenue goal.
Two minutes later Gonzales though he’d doubled the lead, but play the whistle had already been blown for an infringement and ten minutes later it was Avenue’s turn to have a goal chalked off, this time for an offside flag.
Jason Walker, who was the usual livewire throughout, was unlucky not to get his name on the scoresheet on 20 minutes, when good play from Paul Jarvis set him up just six-yards from goal, but the frontman somehow shot wide.
Walker was then denied by Cracknell, who stretched to claw away a curling effort that look destined for the top corner.
Bradford then hit on the counter, but Sam Ashton, who little of the ball in the first 45 minutes held a drive from close range well and then launched a counter-counter attack, but the end product, an ever rising shot from Walker that cleared the crossbar with considerable ease drew a chorus of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” from the home supporters!
Andy Teague and Walker then combined to play in Gonzales, but again Cracknell was in fine form to keep the Magpies out as Chorley pressed for a second before the break, with Adam Blakeman and Cottrell both missing opportunities before the whistle.
Following the restart Avenue looked a different side and put the Magpies under pressure and had a loud shout for a penalty, claiming a handball on the line in the opening minute during a goalmouth scramble, but the officials waived away the appeals.
The Magpies countered but Cracknell again denied Walker. Gonzales and Jarvis combined on the left with the ball being cut back to Walker, but the home keeper earned his corn today with a top save to keep the score line one-nil.
Avenue continued to look threatening and Scott Leather was called in to clear a cross into the middle of the goal with Ashton out of position, but the Avenue recovery didn’t last long as Whitham netted the second on 55 minutes.
A great team goal was started with the ‘pass of the season’; Blakeman picking the ball up in middle of the home half drove forward before playing in a slide-rule pass to Jarvis which opened the home defence. Jarvis crossed to Whitham who slammed home from 12 yards on the volley for his fourth goal of the season, making him joint top scorer with Walker and Carver.
For a spell it was one-way traffic as the home side seamed to accept the inevitable. Walker tried a cheeky lob from just inside the Bradford half. A Blakeman free-kick was palmed out by Cracknall with Whitham’s follow-up going over, but eventually the home side gathered themselves but one attack ended thanks to an over excited ball-boy who ‘saved’ a wayward shot!
The effort which was comfortably going wide was flicked on by the ball-boy who had encroached onto the pitch and ended up going out for a throw instead. Following a quick chat with the linesman the referee awarded a drop ball for ‘outside interference’, which was promptly kicked out for a goal-kick!
Ashton was called into action, tipping over a strong headed effort. A string of corners following, but none threatened Ashton’s goal.
With a quarter of an hour to go, Chorley reclaimed control of the game and Avenue would see very little of the ball for the remainder of the match with the Magpies playing some excellent possession football which culminated in Whitham’s second goal.
A move that will be well worth watching on MagpieTV saw a series of passes end with a Whitham volleying in for the third and his fifth of the season.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Matt Challoner, Paul Jarvis, Andy Teague, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Adam Blakeman, Dale Whitham, Jason Walker, Sefton Gonzales, Jake Cottrell
Subs: Josh O’Keefe (Walker, 86), Wil Beesley (Jarvis, 81), Jack Lynch, Kieran Charnock, Adam Roscoe (Gonzales, 90+2)
Goals: JAKE COTTRELL (8), DALE WHITHAM (57, 90+3)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Adam Blakeman, controlled the midfield and his pass that created the second goal was superb