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Magpies rain on Barwell's parade
4:24pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Chorley FC
It was carnival day in the Leicestershire village of Barwell, but three Chorley goals, two of them in the last three minutes, ensured it rained on Barwell’s parade and brought the Magpies a fourth consecutive opening-day victory under manager Garry Flitcroft.
A stiff wind and uncompromising opponents presented Chorley with a real challenge, especially when the hosts equalised midway through the second half with the elements now in their favour.
But two clever substitutions by the Chorley boss galvanised his side and in a rousing last ten minutes Chorley could easily have scored five.
Striker Darren Stephenson proved a real handful for the home defence and after Chorley had dominated much of the opening half, he put them ahead a minute before half-time.
Fastening onto a superb through-ball from Josh Hine, Stephenson rode a challenge and fired low and hard into the bottom corner.
Barwell started the second half with real purpose and Magpies’ keeper Sam Ashton plunged to save a teasing free-kick curled around the defensive wall.
The hosts equalised on 64 minutes from a twice-taken free-kick, Mark Albrighton beating Ashton with a neat glancing header. However, the introduction of the tricky Paul Jarvis pepped up the visitors who proceeded to run the home side ragged.
Jarvis fired over after cleverly working himself an opening and a Tom Baker free-kick clipped the Barwell bar.
Then on 87 minutes Jarvis stole into the penalty area and slipped a pass to Stephenson who spun off two defenders and casually rolled a shot just inside the post with home keeper Liam Castle completely wrong-footed.
However the best was still to come. In the 89th minute, the tireless Stephenson teed up Dale Whitham on the edge of the box and he promptly rocketed the ball into the top corner.
It could have got even worse for a flagging Barwell, Castle pulling off two great saves to prevent Baker and Tom Ince from inflicting further damage.
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