Chorley’s dreams of being in Monday’s hat for the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup were dealt a blow at Spennymoor Town where having a one man advantage for an hour of the game was not enough to beat the EvoStik Premier League team.
In a game of contrasting fortunes for The Moors where they lost their captain in the 37th minute and found the net in the 63rd, they were the team which will be in the next round for the first time in their history.
The opening minutes were nervy as the two sides took time to settle down. Chances were few and far between, with the best of the opening encounters falling to Spennymoor as Glen Taylor fired a shot from the right; however the Chorley defence prevented it from counting.
Having the quieter of the first half, the closest the Magpies had to take the lead fell after thirteen minutes, when Sefton Gonzales got his head to a Matt Challoner pass, but Dan Lowson was able to collect the ball comfortably.
As The Moors grew in confidence, so did their breaks forward and had a handful of chances to take the lead. Shane Henry toe poked the ball past the post on eighteen minutes, and was involved again nine minutes later as the dangerous Robert Ramshaw fired from forty yards out to find Henry, however his shot fired five yards wide of target. Not afraid of shooting from distance, Spennymoor’s Taylor took an attempt from 30 yards; again the ball skewed past the right hand post.
The home fans saw red on 37 minutes when Jason Walker surged towards goal and their bearded captain, Chris Mason tripped the Chorley forward just outside the penalty area. The referee had no hesitation in pulling out his red card and sent Mason for an early bath. Despite the set piece being in a dangerous position, the ball hit the Spennymoor wall and away to safety.
There was more controversy for the home side when Kieran Charnock made a similar offence to Mason, this time at the other end of the pitch. This time referee Will Finnie brandished a yellow card, sending the Spennymoor crowd into dismay. Chris Gott fired the resulting free kick like an arrow towards the Chorley goal, but Sam Ashton did what he does best, and saved the shot at full length.
After the break, the Magpies came out with better resolve and looked to demonstrate their superior league dominance. Spennymoor did have an early chance when Ashton got his fingers to a Kallum Griffiths shot and tipped it over the crossbar.
After the early scare, Chorley made a number of moves upfield, with Whitham shaving the post and Blakeman coming close, forcing Lowson into a low save.
Perhaps against the run of the second half play, The Moors got their goal in the 64th minute as Jamie Chandler played the ball out wide to Ranshaw. He cleverly looped the ball towards Ashton’s far post and onto the head of Taylor, who managed to charge through the Chorley defence. The ball was nodded past Ashton, sending the home fans into uproar.
Having got the lead, Spennymoor defended well, with Whitham, Leather and Gonzales trying their luck. In the last ten minutes Chorley peppered Lowson’s area with attempts to break down the home defence.
Chorley were agonisingly down to ten men just five minutes from time as Blakeman hobbled off, and as Jansen had used all of his substitutes.
However luck was not on Chorley’s side and Spennymoor were able to hold out and send the home fans into jubilation when the final whistle was blown.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Matt Challoner, Will Beesley, Andy Teague, Scott Leather, Keiran Charnock, Adam Blakeman, Dale Whitham, Jason Walker, Sefton Gonzales, Jake Cottrell
Subs:Stephen Jordan (Charnock, 45), Jack Lynch (Whitham, 70), Josh O'Keefe (Leather, 70), Paul Jarvis, Waqas Azam, Adam Roscoe, Adam Caunce
Goal: Glenn Taylor (64)
Red Card: Chris Mason (37)