Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
Chorley produced a virtuoso display in front of a packed house to see off titles rivals Stockport County.
Matt Challoner returned to Chorley’s starting XI after injury, replacing Stephen Jordan who dropped to the bench.
Stockport made two changes with Sam Minihan & Matty Warburton coming back into the lineup.
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Leather, Meppen-Walter, A.Newby, Cottrell, Carver (Tuton, 90’+1), Wilson (Almond, 85′), E.Newby (O’Keefe, 83′). Subs not used: Jordan, Anson.
Stockport: Hinchliffe; Minihan (Walker, 46′), Duxbury, Keane, Palmer, Stott, Thomas, Turnbull (c), Bell (Mulhern, 61′), Warburton, Stephenson (Kirby, 78′). Subs not used: Ormson, Osborne.
A thoroughly entertaining first half saw only the one goal. After Stockport had dominated the first 10 minutes Chorley first meaningful spell brought with it Andy Teague’s six yard header from Alex Newby’s delightful inswinging corner.
County kept probing, with bunches of set pieces keeping the home defence on their toes. Matt Urwin was kept busy in the sense he had a number of touches but was rarely worked. Scott Duxbury’s 18-yard free kick was the visitors’ best opportunity but effort hit the bottom of the wall.
Alex Newby could have extended Chorley’s lead but shot over after Marcus Carver forced Stockport’s defence into turning the ball over.
County should have equalised within two minutes of the restart but when Darren Stephenson gave Matty Warburton the freedom of Victory Park to tap home the forward instead cleared the crossbar from three yards.
He would regret the miss on the hour when an horrible defensive error allowed Carver to stride in on Hinchliffe’s goal before hammering past the ‘keeper, doubling The Magpies’ lead.
The away side’s response was minimal as Chorley’s mean defence handled what was thrown at them. A couple of dangerous crosses and Frank Mulhern’s dipper that just cleared Matt Urwin’s crossbar were all that could be created.
Sponsors man-of-the-match: Courtney Meppen-Walter
HT 1-0 / FT 2-0
Goals: Teague (15′), Carver (60′)
Cautions: Leather (90’+2), Almond (90’+5) Warburton (66′), S.Walker (67′)
Referee: Scott Jackson
Assistants: Richard Walker & Andrew Genders
Weather: Warm & sunny
Winning 50/50 ticket: A14235 (£300)
Next up: Easter Monday’s trip to Spennymoor Town (3pm). Admission to Brewery Field costs £12 adults, £9 over-60s, £4 under-18s & under-10s FREE