Chorley 2-0 Matlock Town
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 brace from Josh Hine who scored on 84 minutes and then deep into stoppage time with Matlock also feeling hard done to by referee Jane 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.
Matlock boss Mark Atkins wanted a reaction after his understrength line up faltered badly at Mickleover during the week, and he certainly got a positive one. His satisfaction with the performance and anger over the two refereeing decisions was reflected in his post match assessment.
“She got two big important decisions badly wrong and that was hard on us after we’d played so well”.
Visiting the league leaders and title favourites was always going to be 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 did not come until 15 minutes when Dale Whitham screwed a shot wide after David Haggerty and done well to cut out a ball from the left.
It had been a slow start to the game delayed by fifteen minutes because an elderly spectator had been struck by a Lewis McMahon shot in the pre match warm up. An ambulance was called and the fan was taken to hospital.
Danny Holland again worked his socks off and it needed a timely clearance from Keil O’Brien to prevent his cross from reaching Darryl Thomas at the far post.
Thomas’ 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 twenty five yards before a tight first half ended with the nearest attempt to the opening goal when Adam Roscoe clipped 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.
Matlock maintained their pressure with the ball bouncing about in the Chorley box without coming down for a meaningful shot.
In a swift Chorley breakaway, Adam Yates was booked for fouling Hine, the free kick coming to nothing. But Matlock soon returned to the attack and inspirational skipper Liam Needham forced Ashton into a fine save low to his right to push away his daisycutter from the edge of the box.
Needham then cut out a clearance to feed Grayson who should have done better than fire at Ashton in the 71st minute. 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 it was the goalkeeper who 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 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 Chorley had broken at pace with Matlock obviously committing more men forward. Whitham’s cross from the right was headed in, Chorley had the #4000 prize money and a place in the First Round Proper.
Matlock had played well and deserved more. If they can maintain this level of performance in the league, but convert chances as well, a high final placing should result.
CHORLEY: 1 Sam Ashton 2 Mark Ross 3 Adam Mather 4 Andrew Teague 5 Keil O’Brien 6 Adam Roscoe (12 Paul Jarvis 65) 7 Josh Hine 8 Dale Whitham 9 James Dean 10 Darren Stephenson (14 Simon Wiles 78) 11 Jake Cottrell Other subs: 15 Alex Meaney 16 Matt Jansen 17 Aaron Grundy
MATLOCK TOWN: 1 Jon Kennedy 2 Micky Harcourt 3 Oscar Radford 4 Martin Foster(12 Joe Leesley 90) 5 David Haggerty 6 Adam Yates 7 Liam Needham 8 James Ashmore (16 Lewis McMahon 85) 9 Danny Holland 10 Darryl Thomas (14 Bradley Grayson 35) 11 Corey Gregory
Other subs: 15 Lee Featherstone 17 Matty Leese
REFEREE: E Sims (Leeds) ATTENDANCE: 772 BEST GLADIATOR: Liam Needham