Match report: Harrogate Town 4-1 Chorley

Josh Hine

Josh Hine

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An error-stricken performance from Chorley saw them slump to a heavy defeat Harrogate Town.

Garry Flitcroft’s side struggled throughout the 90 minutes against their big spending opponents and individual errors put pay to any hopes of a positive result.

Despite the defeat, Chorley remain seventh in the Vanarama Conference North.

In an action packed first half, it was the home side that took the lead in the ninth minute as Andy Gascoigne converted from the penalty spot.

Chorley were reduced to 10 men in the 19th minute as skipper Andy Teague saw red for a lunging tackle on Gascoigne, which left the Harrogate midfielder with a broken leg.

The home side doubled their lead in the 24th minute as an unmarked Paul Clayton headed home before the Magpies pulled a goal back early in the second half through Josh Hine.

But any hopes of a comeback were ended as Jack Emmett slotted past Sam Ashton and with just 20 minutes remaining, Town completed the scoring as Jordan Thewlis scored the second penalty of the game.

It was a lively start at the CNG Stadium, as both sides had early efforts at goal.

Hine carved out the first effort of the game striking a shot across the face of goal after taking advantage of a Leigh Franks error down the right flank, while at the other end, Ashton acrobatically turned over Clayton’s well struck shot from inside the box.

Harrogate, who had won their last two games, looked dangerous from set pieces and shortly before the 10 minute mark they took the lead.

On-loan Hull City man Ryan Fallowfield sent a deep corner into the area, the ball was initially cleared but Harrogate forward Clayton was bundled over inside the area clumsily by Mark Ross.

Gascoigne took the honours of nestling his spot kick in the bottom right corner to beat Ashton, who dived the same way.

Despite falling behind early, Chorley didn’t look deterred and Dale Whitham saw a header deflected inches wide of the post.

But as they looked to be getting themselves back into the game, they soon found themselves reduced to 10-men as Teague lunged in with two feet on goalscorer Gascoigne and referee Graeme Fyvie was left with no other option but to produce the red card.

Things went from bad to worse for the Magpies as they soon found themselves two goals down with Teague’s commanding presence clearly being missed.

Another corner was whipped in by Fallowfield, meeting the ball unmarked was Clayton and his header comfortably nestled past a helpless Ashton.

James Dean then tested Peter Crook from a distance before the Town shotstopper was almost left red faced as he fumbled a well struck Aaron Burns shot only to scramble the loose ball off the line.

On the stroke of half-time, Matt Flynn superbly hooked a Franks cross off the line after the Harrogate fullback comfortably bypassed Ross and Whitham.

The Magpies started the second half strongly and after Jake Cottrell rasped a volley wide of the post they sound they soon reduced the arrears.

Hine latched onto a long punt forward from Ashton, he got in behind Franks before heading over an onrushing Crook who found himself in no man’s land.

With their tails up Chorley continued to press but it was more slack defending that ultimately proved to be their undoing.

A deep Louie Swain cross found Emmett unmarked in the six yard box and the Town winger had time to control the ball before slotting past Ashton.

The Magpies’ defensive duties became somewhat non-existent as the Town front line continue to cause havoc and with 20 minutes they sealed the points.

Thewlis picked up the ball on left, he cut inside onto his right foot and as he looked to shoot at goal, he was hauled to the ground by Flynn, the Town frontman marched straight for the ball before sending Ashton the wrong way from the spot.

With just under 10 minutes remaining, substitute Matt Bloomer rasped a shot wide of goal while Hine fired a shot into the side netting before heading wide in injury time.

Chorley: Ashton, Ross, Mather, Teague (c), Flynn, Cottrell, Whitham, Roscoe (Winter 68), Hine, Burns (Almond 61), Dean

Subs unused: Simm, Jarvis, Lynch