Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
The Magpies were promoted to the National League after outlasting Spennymoor in a penalty shootout following 120 tense minutes at Victory Park.
Both teams were unchanged from their respective semi-final victories on the first Sunday of May.
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Leather, Meppen-Walter, A.Newby, Cottrell (O’Keefe, 120′), Carver, Wilson (Almond, 84′), E.Newby. Subs not used: Anson, Jordan, Hooper.
Spennymoor: Gould; Williams, Brogan, Chandler, Harrison (Atkinson, 96′), Curtis (c), Hall, Hibbs (Johnson, 64′), Taylor, Ramshaw, Hawkins (Anderson, 96′). Subs not used: Elliott, Boyes.
The first half came and went with few clear-cut chances for either side. The visitors started the better, but struggled to create a clear opening until a short corner saw Stephen Brogan’s delivery headed on by Glen Taylor but it was too strong for the onrushing Ryan Hall.
Hall himself had a better chance when a two-on-two break had the flying winger driving at Courtney Meppen-Walter, get a yard, but shoot horribly wide from an angle.
At the other end Chorley worked their way into the match and bossed the final 15 minutes, but despite putting the Moors’ defence under pressure couldn’t work an opening to beat Matt Gould. Meppen-Walter did have the ball in the net just before the break, but the well-worked free kick routine was ruled out for offside.
The second saw Chorley go on the offensive with Moors’ happy to sit and hit on the break. The best chance of the half fell to the away side, but Brogan’s brilliant free kick was headed wide at the back post after bouncing across the six yard box.
Chorley had numerous set piece opportunities from free kicks, corners and long Blakeman throws, but could get the vital touch when the ball fell invitingly.
The first half of extra time saw The Magpies again on the front foot and when Blakeman swung a corner over for Scott Leather to head home unmarked it looked as though the home side had done enough. Only the visitors went right down the other end to equalise through Glen Taylor, who beat Andy Teague’s dive to finish past Matt Urwin.
There were few further chances during the extra minutes, so to penalties we went once again and ONCE AGAIN Matt Urwin was the hero, stopping three of Spennymoor’s six kicks, around four completions by Meppen-Walter, Josh O’Keefe, Marcus Carver & Elliot Newby, to send Chorley back to the non-league top table for the first time since 1990.
HT 0-0 / FT 0-0 / AET 1-1 / Pens 4-3
Goals: Leather (102′); Taylor (105′)
Chorley: A.Newby (miss), Almond (miss), Meppen-Walter (scored), O’Keefe (scored), Carver (scored), E.Newby (scored)
Spennymoor: Taylor (miss), Anderson (scored), Brogan (scored), Ramshaw (miss), Boyes (scored), Johnson (miss)
Cautions: Challoner (50′), E.Newby (104′); Harrison (93′), Chandler (104′)
Referee: Sam Barrott
Assistants: Stuart Morland & Kieran Johnson
Fourth official: Ben Speedie
Winning 50/50 ticket: A11359 (£400)
Next up: That’s it. The 2018/19 season is officially over! See you in July.