Words: Ben Dakin; Pictures: Alan Walker
THERE was a strong sense of déjà vu as Chorley FC Women crossed the Pennines for the second time in consecutive league games. Another 4G pitch and another goal conceded in the first 3 minutes.
Coach Andy Ramskill was forced to shuffle the pack again as injuries and absent players made it impossible to field a first choice team.
Chorley don’t seem to need an excuse to concede early this season, as only one game has reached the 10 minute mark without them being one goal down, but the enforced changes may have played a part in the opening goal, as a mix up in the defence allowed Darcie Greene to pick her spot and left Chorley keeper Rachel Darbyshire with no chance.
Despite the early goal, the mountain got tougher to climb for Chorley when, on 16 minutes, sub Katie Woodhead replaced injured left back Emily Yeoman. Then it got worse with the sub having to be subbed – Katie was only on the pitch for eight minutes before picking up a nasty ankle injury, before being replaced by Jodie Pilling.
In between the injury woes there was a ray of sunshine bursting through leaden Barnsley skies. In the shape of a 19th minute equaliser; make-shift right back Rebecca Kemp managed to find Beth Donoghue on the left of the area and without needing a second invitation, she put the ball past the keeper’s right side and into the net.
The first half may have ended 1-1, but not before Barnsley had a goal disallowed for a push in the box, and Chorley captain Laura Walker picked up a booking for a push in the middle of the pitch.
The second half belonged to Barnsley, as they picked up another goal through Greene in the opening five minutes of the half and aside from a couple of long range free kicks for Chorley, they had all the chances on goal. The visitors did well to soak up the pressure, but when leading scorer Donoghue went off injured, you felt it was only going to end in a Barnsley win.
Goalie Darbyshire kept the score down with a couple of good saves, including one where, spider-like, she got a leg to a goal bound shot in spectacular fashion. Sadly, despite battling away, Chorley conceded in the final minute to Becks Hornsey, with game ending 3-1 to Barnsley.
Chorley: Darbyshire, Yeoman (Woodhead, 16’ (Pilling, 24′)) Searson, Topping, Kemp, Vella, Donoghue (Mills, 65’), Rotheram, Stocks, Worth, Walker (c).
HT 1-1 / FT 3-1
Goals: Greene (4′, 49′), Hornsey (90′); Donoghue (19’)
Cautions: Walker (45’)
Next up: Yet another away game in the FA Women’s National League, this time against Chester-Le-Street on Sunday, September 29.