Words: Saskia Bowes; Pictures: Keith Bowes
One of our longest away trips of the season started brightly with Chorley having the lion’s share of possession in the opening exchanges.
Katy Morris was a livewire all game and within the first few minutes she had seen a shot saved before missing the target narrowly from a tight angle. The visitors didn’t waste time in creating chances as Megan Searson also had two quickfire headers saved by the Chester-le-Street goalkeeper.
As the game went on, tackles were flying in and there was a real edge to the game which made for an entertaining opening spell. However, on 18 minutes, Rachel Darbyshire was adjudged to have handled outside the area and was sent off. Ellie Mills then went between the posts with Rachel Wood dropping to the bench. Despite this adversity, Chorley remained dominant and could have been ahead after 30 minutes as Betti Worth had a brilliant volley deflected over before Jan Mitchell whipped in a wicked cross that could not be directed home. The back four was having little problem with the aerial threat of Chester Le Street and Worth and Searson were working well together, thwarting all attacks. On 35 minutes, Grace Vella unleashed a shot which missed the inside of the post by a whisker and Morris again had two shots from free kicks which were both saved.
After the break, Chester-le-Street had a couple of half chances but all through balls were quickly cut out by the defence. On 56 minutes, Beth Donoghue linked up well with Morris to shoot but her effort was again deflected. It was all Chorley as it had been in the first, and shots from Laura Walker, Vella and Searson all were off target.
The game was played in the middle of the park for most of the second half and Chorley worked hard to make their dominance pay. On 69 minutes Rebecca Kemp was replaced by Jodie Pilling and the substitute had a few chances but couldn’t quite connect.
Then, on 78 minutes, a sucker punch. Mills did well to react to a back pass, but Chester-le-Street’s striker Kacie Elson was able stabbed home.
Player of the match: Jan Mitchell
Chorley: Darbyshire; Fenton, Worth, Searson, Mitchell, Kemp (Pilling, 69′), Walker (c), Vella, Morris, Wood (Ellis, 18′), Donoghue.
HT 0-0 / FT 1-0
Goals: Elson (78′)
Next up: A quick turnaround this week as The Magpies head to Atherton to face Bolton Wanderers at the Skuna Stadium on Thursday evening.