FA Trophy match report: Chorley 2-0 Matlock Town

David Haggerty of Matlock (right) tussles for possession at Chorley. Photo/Chorley Guardian

David Haggerty of Matlock (right) tussles for possession at Chorley. Photo/Chorley Guardian

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Chorley secured a hat-trick of victories against Matlock with this FA Trophy result at Victory Park last Saturday, but the scoreline fails to tell the whole story as Matlock deserved at least a replay.

The hosts’ passage to the first round proper came courtesy of a late brace from Josh Hine with Matlock also feeling hard done to by referee Elizabeth Sims.

The Leeds official ruled out a Corey Gregory goal on the hour then turned down what looked to be a blatant penalty a minute after Chorley’s opener.

Visiting the league leaders and title favourites was always a tough ask for Matlock. But they approached their job with enthusiasm and gusto, their industrious performance allowing Chorley very few clear cut opportunities.

The first shot at goal came when Chorley’s Dale Whitham screwed a shot wide, while at the other end it needed a timely clearance from Keil O’Brien to prevent the hard-working Danny Holland’s cross from reaching Daryll Thomas at the far post.

Thomas’s return after a thigh strain though lasted just 35 minutes as he pulled up sharply and was replaced by Bradley Grayson. Soon afterwards Martin Foster shot too high from 25 yards before a tight first-half ended with Adam Roscoe clipping the top of the Matlock bar.

Matlock increased the tempo in the second-half when they were the better side. A cross from the left by Grayson was headed clear before following good work from James Ashmore, Grayson’s strike at goal was charged down.

Home goalkeeper Sam Ashton made a bad decision in coming through a ruck of players to try and claim a hanging cross from Oscar Radford on the hour and was very nearly punished as Gregory headed in but he was saved by the referee who blew for a foul. It was a lucky break for the hosts.

Inspirational skipper Liam Needham forced Ashton into a fine save to push away his daisycutter from the edge of the box, and then Needham fed Grayson who should have done better than fire at Ashton.

There looked to be an even better chance for Matlock six minutes later as Holland burst through to face Ashton in a one-on-one duel but the goalkeeper won the battle of nerves as Holland shot weakly at him.

Matlock really needed to take at least one of these fine chances and they were made to pay.

Both Chorley substitutes were involved in the opening goal as Simon Wiles’ cross from the right was helped on by Paul Jarvis for Hine to fire beyond Kennedy.

But that lead could and probably should have been scrubbed out immediately when Andy Teague dived on the ball and used his hand to push away Needham’s cross for a corner. It looked an obvious spot kick but again Miss Sims ruled against the Gladiators.

From the corner Grayson headed a good chance wide. Then Foster shot over the bar from distance before Chorley rubbed salt into open Matlock wounds by adding their second deep into stoppage time.

Hine was again the marksman as Whitham’s cross from the right was headed in and Chorley had the £4,000 prize money.

Matlock had deserved more. If they can maintain this level of performance in the league, but convert chances as well, a high final placing should result.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Chorley: 1 Sam Ashton 2 Mark Ross 3 Adam Mather 4 Andy Teague 5 Keil O’Brien 6 Adam Roscoe (Paul Jarvis 65) 7 Josh Hine 8 Dale Whitham 9 James Dean 10 Darren Stephenson (Simon Wiles 78) 11 Jake Cottrell Other subs: Alex Meaney, Matt Jansen, Aaron Grundy

Matlock: 1 Jon Kennedy 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Oscar Radford 4 Martin Foster (Joe Leesley 90) 5 David Haggerty 6 Adam Yates 7 Liam Needham 8 James Ashmore (Lewis McMahon 85) 9 Danny Holland 10 Daryll Thomas (Bradley Grayson 35) 11 Corey Gregory Other subs: Lee Featherstone, Matty Leese

Ref: E Sims (Leeds) Att: 772

Star Gladiator: Liam Needham

Report by Ian Richardson