Thousand reasons for Magpies to be happy

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Chorley re-wrote the history books once again with a 2-1 victory over Derbyshire outfit Ilkeston FC.

First-half goals from Darren Stephenson and James Dean sealed an 11th straight win for the Magpies in front of a bumper crowd of 1,017 in the Evo-Stik League Premier Division.

The Robins started brightly and pressed Chorley in the opening stages of the game.

Tricky forward Lejaun Simmons should have given his side the lead as he met a cross in the six-yard box but his tame header was straight at Sam Ashton.

Chorley suffered a blow after nine minutes when talismanic midfielder Jake Cottrell was substituted with what looked to be a shoulder problem.

Paul Jarvis, who himself is still building match fitness, was introduced as his

replacement.

Midfielder Kevin Reid thought he had given Ilkeston the lead but his 30-yard strike just sailed wide of the top right-hand corner.

But as time passed, Chorley began to settle and gain a much stronger foothold in the game.

Dale Whitham saw his header rebound off the post in the 18th minute and the follow-up was met by Josh Hine but on-loan Huddersfield Town goalkeeper Lloyd Allinson saved well.

Andy Teague header over from the resulting corner but just before the half-hour mark, Chorley did take the lead.

Dean, who dominated proceedings up all afternoon, front won an aerial battle and his flick-on landed kindly at the feet of Stephenson, who delicately lobbed Allinson in the visitors’ goals.

Minutes later, Hine could have doubled the Magpies lead but a heavy touch allowed Allinson to make a sprawling save.

Stephenson then blazed over from 16 yards but his strike partner Dean made no mistake in making it 2-0 as the half-time whistle approach.

Stephenson tirelessly ran down the left-hand side, twisting and turning.

The former Southport striker then put in a cross which oozed quality and Dean made no mistake, firing a header home to give the Magpies a 2-0 lead.

After the interval, the Robins continued to attack but Chorley stood firm and looked for a goal of their own.

Hine first saw an effort deflected wide and then shot wide of the post in the 54th minute.

Che Adams was introduced by Ilkeston boss Kevin Wilson and the tricky winger almost made an instant impact.

Adams latched on to an Allinson punt upfield but the striker could only shoot straight at Ashton.

The away side put lots of pressure on the Chorley penalty area and had three corners in quick succession.

Keil O’Brien defended the first and Ashton was required to tip over the second, while the third was adequately cleared by the Magpies back line.

With 10 minutes to go the Robins grabbed a much-deserved goal through substitute Aaron Hooten, who picked up a loose ball 20 yards out and lashed the ball home into the left-hand corner leaving Ashton no chance, and putting the away side back in the game.

With Ilkeston full of confidence and looking to attack, Chorley kept their cool and Dean could have made it three but he blazed wide.

As the referee indicated a minimum of four minutes of time added on, Ilkeston gave it one final push to grab a point from the game.

Lejaun Simmons latched on to a flick on and the pacy striker was making his way into the box but skipper Teague made an excellent sliding tackle quashing out any hopes of an Ilkeston equaliser.

The Magpies kept hold of possession for the remaining seconds and were greeted to a roar by the crowd as the referee ended the game.

Chorley: Ashton, Ross, Teague, O’Brien, Mather, Cottrell (Jarvis 9), Hine (Roscoe 86), Whitham, Woolcott, Stephenson, Dean.

Subs not used: Grundy, Meaney, Wiles