Words: Ben Dakin; Picture: Alan Walker
THE Magpies secured a spot in the Women’s FA Cup third round qualifying, and a trip to Hartlepool United, with a 2-0 win over Harrogate Town at Wetherby Road on Sunday.
So far this season Chorley have had nothing but success in cup competitions, and with a first league win on the board last weekend, all the signs were good for the FA Cup clash in Yorkshire.
With more changes forced upon the coaching staff due to player shortages and injuries, club chair Janet Mitchell came into central defence, with Rebecca Kemp dropping back to play right back.
The visitors have conceded early in the last couple of trips to Yorkshire, but this time it was the Magpies who got the early goal. In the ninth minute, from Chorley’s first real attack, a shot by last week’s hat trick hero Sophie Rotheram hit the post, rebounded, hit a Harrogate defender and went in. It may not have been the prettiest goal, but it took away any nerves Chorley may have had about playing away from home for the eighth time this season.
Neither side managed to build any kind of rhythm, with the rain and 3G pitch leading contributing to a very scrappy match. Whilst Chorley had the better possession the ball was given away far too easily in all areas of the pitch. Sadly for Harrogate they were unable to capitalise as they too were suffering from the same condition where after a maximum of three passes you had to let the opposition have a go!
It was an untidy half brought alive by a couple of goals, the second of which was the best move of the game. Rotheram found herself on the right side of the area, running with the ball at her feet. She shook off two defenders and somehow managed to get a shot in from an acute angle. Her momentum may have carried her off the pitch, but the ball beat the keeper and found the back of the net. If the first one had a slice of luck about it, this one had a whole load of skill.
Sadly for Chorley there was to be no repeat of hat trick heroics from the number 11, after a knock just before half time saw Rotheram subbed for the second half. It did however mean Sue Doak could make her first appearance of the campaign, after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in pre-season.
The second half consisted mostly of throw ins, free kicks and mislaid passes as neither side created any real chances on goal and neither goal keeper was tested. Harrogate never looked out of the game and Chorley never looked entirely comfortable, despite the two goal advantage.
The officials had a good game, and despite stoppages for a few injury scares, it was a good natured match in weather was more conducive to hot chocolate and central heating than total football.
Chorley: Darbyshire; Mitchell, Brindle, Sutcliffe, Vella, Stocks, Donoghue, Rotheram (Doak, 45’) Kemp, Mills, Walker (c). Subs not used: Norcross.
HT 0-2 / FT 0-2
Goals: Rotheram (9′, 28′)
Elsewhere, the under-18s beat Ashton Town 8-3 and the under-15s were 10-0 victors over Burnley. Dean Stevely’s reserve side had the weekend off.
Next up: Finally, a home game. Stockport County on Wednesday evening in the FA Women’s National League Division One North (7:45pm). Admission is £3 adults, £1 concessions & completely FREE for season ticket holders and under-12s.