Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
THE Magpies were stunned by an incisive Bluebirds fightback at Victory Park as their three-game unbeaten run in the National League came to an end with the 3-1 defeat.
The visitors started the game in confident mood and created a couple of great openings within the first 20 minutes. Scott Quigley who found himself with the goal at his mercy but Billy Crellin reacted superbly to stop the forward’s effort, before England youth international Crellin was again called into action to thwart Josh Kay from a similar position; the rebound was skied by Dior Angus.
Then, as Barrow looked to be pushing hard for the opener, Chorley responded by taking the lead. Marcus Carver was tugged back in the area, the referee waved the appeals away, but the ball spun out for Matt Challoner to hammer home from 1o yards.
A Bluebirds’ equaliser was only four minutes away, however, as John Rooney’s Panenka penalty after Courtney Meppen-Walters fouled Quigley drew the sides level after half an hour.
Then, right on half time, a sucker punch. Oliver Dyson played a terrific one-two with Rooney and managed to squeeze his effort from a tight angle past both Crellin and Andy Teague to put Barrow ahead for the first time.
The second half began with Chorley looking the more likely to score, until another Meppen-Walters challenge in the box was penalised by the referee, allowing Rooney to score his second of the evening from 12 yards.
The Magpies continue to push forward in search of a way back into the contest, but an Andy Teague header that flashed inches wide aside, the Bluebirds held onto their advantage to take the spoils. The only other incident of note was a horror tackle on debutant Nortei Nortey by Patrick Brough which was deemed worthy of only a yellow card.
Man of the match: Courtney Meppen-Walters
Chorley: Crellin; Challoner, Teague (c), Leather (Blakeman, 22′), Meppen-Walters, A.Newby, O’Keefe (Nortey, 63′), Carver, Cottrell, Baines (E.Newby, 69′), Holroyd. Subs not used: Dodds, Massanka.
Barrow: Dixon; Brough, Hird, Rooney (c), Quigley (Harrison, 78′), Hardcastle, Kay, Platt, Angus (Hindle, 72′), Dyson (Greaves, 83′), Barry. Subs not used: Brown, Granite.
HT 1-2 / FT 1-3
Goals: Challoner (24′); Rooney (pen, 29′, pen 67′), Dyson (45’+3)
Cautions: Meppen-Walters (65′); Hindle (83′), Brough (85′)
Referee: Martin Woods
Assistants: Paul Ince & Matthew Sowerby
Fourth official: Jamie Waters
50/50 Draw winning numbers: 1st 193224; 2nd 196366; 3rd 193285
Coming up: We hit the road to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday for a 3pm kick-off in the Vanarama National League. Admission to Victoria Road costs £21 adults, £15 over-65s/students, £12 10-16s & £2 under-10s. Away travel is also available to purchase priced £40 adults & £32 accompanied under-16s.