Chorley progressed to the quarter-finals of the Lancashire Challenge Trophy following a tricky encounter in appalling conditions on the Lancastrian coast.
In relentless freezing rain and on a gluepot pitch, a youthful Magpies line-up, with four development squad players involved in the match, controlled the game but had to come back from a goal down to progress.
Ryan Riley opened the scoring for the home side on 66 minutes, heading in from Squires Gate’s first corner of the game, but two minutes later loan signing Dan Cowan equalised then ten minutes from time Adam Roscoe prevented a penalty shootout with his first goal of the season.
The game kicked off with light rain and a light number of supporters sheltering from the conditions, an accident on the M6 cause a large proportion of the travelling supporters to only arrive midway through the first half.
The opening 45 minutes was played predominantly in front of the home defence. Waqas Azam, Marcus Carver and debutant Jordan Southworth all had early chances. The hosts defending stoutly, throwing bodied on the line time and time again to clear crosses and block shots.
Roscoe tried his luck with a direct free-kick. Ben Fletcher in the home goal parried the shot and Southworth was unlucky not to convert on the rebound.
Azam, who was a real threat throughout on the right flank saw an effort deflected wide then saw claims for a penalty fall on deaf ears.
Finally, Carver failed to test Fletcher with a tame effort second from the break.
After the restart, with the rain now persisting and the pitch gradually worsening, the direction of play remained the same with Chorley on top.
Roscoe saw a shot from 12 yards blocked, Josh O’Keefe’s swivelled effort was easy for Fletched to gather.
After over an hour of goalless but one-way traffic the inevitable occurred; Squires Gate took the lead. On the break, they forced a corner and from this Riley rose unmarked 8 yards out to guide a header into the keeper’s top right corner.
As if a switched was flicked, Chorley upped their game and within two minutes the tie was level. A corner into the box was only half cleared, captain for the night Paul Jarvis saw a shot blocked, but the ball fell kindly for Cowan who slammed home from close range.
The match then reverted back to the previous pace and pattern; Chorley moving the ball and controlling possession.
With ten minutes to go, after several half chances were squandered, the winning goal arrived. A deep cross from Adam Blakeman fell to Roscoe beyond the pack post, but he experienced midfielder shows his class to slot home from a tight angle.
In the last ten minutes Squires Gate tried to push forward looking for an equaliser, but rushed passed and some solid defending meant that Caunce wasn’t troubled apart from the occasional wayward back pass.
Starting XI: Adam Caunce, Waqas Azam, Will Beesley, Matt Challoner, Dan Cowan, Adam Blakeman, Adam Roscoe, Josh O’Keefe, Marcus Carver, Jordan Southworth, Paul Jarvis
Subs: Jack Hartley (Southworth, 60), Liam Wood (Carver, 40), Dale Whitham, Scott Leather, Ryan Farnworth (Jarvis, 89)
Goals: Ryan Riley (66), DAN COWAN (68), ADAM ROSCOE (80)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Dan Cowan, calm and assured at the back