Chorley progress in FA Trophy

Chorley Citizen: WINNING SMILES: Chorley players are all cheers at the whistle after their pulsating FA Trophy victory over Curzon WINNING SMILES: Chorley players are all cheers at the whistle after their pulsating FA Trophy victory over Curzon

IN a thrilling climax to a roller-coaster cup-tie 10-men Chorley secured a place in the last 32 of the FA Trophy thanks to a magnificent rearguard action for the last hour of a compelling game.

The Magpies got off to a dream start with a goal in the sixth minute when James Dean slammed home a loose ball.

But the home side’s prospects suddenly looked bleak against a lively Curzon side when full-back Mark Ross was shown a straight red card on the half-hour for pushing Matt Warburton as he raced into the penalty-area.

Fortunately for Chorley, the damage was limited when Sam Walker dragged his spot-kick wide.

While Curzon enjoyed most of the possession, such was the efficiency of the Chorley defensive screen that keeper Sam Ashton had few saves to make. And it looked as if the Magpies would safely see out the game until the real drama unfolded in the last three minutes.

Walker atoned for his penalty-miss in the 87th minute, rifling a 20-yards’ snap-shot past Ashton to set up the prospect of a replay. Almost at once, Ashton spilled an angled drive at his near post and the ball bounced off Ryan Brooke and just past the upright to the striker’s obvious disbelief.

But the never-say-die Magpies immediately responded. Adam Mather’s penetrating run down the left culminated in a pinpoint centre which Josh Hine headed straight at Thompson from three yards.

However, birthday-boy Mather repeated the raid on 90 minutes and from the by-line supplied a raking low ball across the six-yards’ box.

This time the opportunist Hine made no mistake, clipping it first-time into the corner of the net to trigger wild celebrations among home supporters in the 600-strong crowd. It was a priceless goal, extending Chorley’s winning sequence to 12 and earning the club the £5,000 prize-money.

The Magpies scored a home tie in the next round, against either Skrill Premier strugglers Dartford or big spending outfit Forest Green Rovers on December 14.

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