Words: Ben Dakin; Pictures: John Shirras
THE Magpies reached the last eight of the LFA Challenge Cup with a resounding victory against Blackburn Rovers Development side on Sunday afternoon.
Whereas the last round of the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup was a bruising affair against Morecambe, this round, played on a near perfect pitch at Victory Park, was a much more civilised affair.
Instead of being on the receiving end of an early goal, it was Chorley who struck in the first couple of minutes. From kick off the home side applied pressure, and in the third minute it was Rebecca Kemp who provided a great cross which Sophie Rotheram applied a deft finishing touch.
Kemp was a handful to the Blackburn defence all game and it wasn’t long before she got herself on the scoresheet. But between Kemp’s assist and her goal, Blackburn managed an equalise; Rachel Darbyshire had no chance as a shot through a crowded area took a massive deflection to wrong foot the Chorley shot stopper.
All three opening goals came in the first seven minutes and the rest of the half belonged to Chorley. The home team played a high line, with Megan Searson playing her role as defensive enforcer on the halfway line, with left back Hannah Brindle looking more like a winger.
Whilst the Blackburn players showed some great skills, they lacked the nouse of an experienced side and couldn’t translate their training pitch drills into a big match performance.
Having dictated the play towards the end of the first half, Chorley were slow to take control of the game again in the second. Blackburn came out looking for an equaliser, but despite some good football, could only force Darbyshire into one meaningful save.
Chorley killed the game with two further goals; Beth Donoghue did what she has done all season, ghosting in from the left before unleashing a left footed finish.
The final goal was made by Kemp, whose cross was met by sub Ellie Mills at the far post.
Chorley: Darbyshire, Fenton, Brindle, Searson, Sutcliffe, Topping, Kemp, Vella, Donoghue (Mills, 63’), Rotheram, Walker (c) (Doak, 74’). Subs not used: Marshall, Fitton.
HT 2-1 / FT 4-1
Goals: Rotheram (3’), Kemp (7’), Donoghue (63’), Mills (71’)
Next up: A North East road trip in the FA Cup. Hartlepool United lie in wait on Sunday (2pm).