Bamber Bridge 1-4 Chorley

Bamber Bridge v Chorley
Bamber Bridge v Chorley
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Chorley FC stormed into the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup with a more than convincing victory over neighbours Bamber Bridge in a fiery encounter at the Sir Tom Finney stadium.

The quality of the Conference North outfit shone through as second half goals from Tom Smyth, Josh Hine and Darren Stephenson sealed an emphatic 4-1 victory.

Earlier in the first half, James Dean had given the Magpies the lead before Brig pulled a goal back through Alistair Waddecar after Hine’s second half strike.

It was a tentative start at a packed out Sir Tom Finney, both sides felt each other out with only Chorley skipper Andy Teague having a half chance when he slashed an effort well wide of goal.

After 10 minutes into the game the Magpies had a trio of consecutive chances, first, Brig had a defensive calamity when Lee Dovey hesitated to claim a loose ball but the Brig shotstopper redeemed himself deflecting a Darren Stephenson effort wide of goal.

Dean then headed inches wide from a Jack Dorney cross and then the pacey Josh Hine lashed a cross across the face of goal.

Both sides exchanged small periods of possession then on the 23 minute mark, the visitors made the breakthrough.

Dovey opted to punch a clearance rather than catch it, the ball fell to Dorney who chipped the ball back into the area, Dovey and Teague collided in the area but the loose ball fell to an unmarked Dean and he made no mistake finding the back-of-the-net.

The collision with Teague left Dovey in severe pain and the Brig goalkeeper hobbled around for the remainder of the half.

Neil Crowe’s side had the better of the possession throughout the majority of the first half but Brig lacked the quality that Chorley showed in the final third.

George Bowyer cutting in on the left hand side then angled a shot straight at Sam Ashton but the Chorley goalkeeper comfortably saved holding onto the ball well.

Minutes before the interval, Hine sent a volley at pace over the bar and the half-fit Dovey saved low to his right to deny a drilled Stephenson shot.

Brig were dealt a blow at the half-time interval, despite the best efforts of physio Gus Muncaster, Dovey was unable to continue and he was replaced between the posts by veteran goalkeeping coach Stuart Barton.

Nonsense behind the goal marred the opening stages of the half as both sets of fans set of flares and the police were required to step in and separate both sets of fans.

Just before the hour mark Chorley extended their lead, Mather whipped in a corner and on the line was Smyth who bundled the ball home to send the travelling supporters wild.

Straight from the kick-off, Stephenson had a glorious chance but his header flicked Barton’s left hand post.

The game went in the direction of Brig after 67 minutes, looking down and out sub Chris Marlow bent in a cross and in a 50/50 challenge Waddecar got the better of Ashton and the ball trickled over the line.

Chorley immediately went on the attack and Hine produced a smart stop from Barton and then Stephenson evaded a Mahoney challenge but his shot cutting in from the left hand side rattled the post for the second time in the half.

Paul Alexander then angled a header wide of the Chorley goal as the game turned physical with Joe Mullen, Adam Roscoe and Bowyer all entering the referees notepad in the second half.

With 10 minutes remaining, Dorney powered down the left wing, he beat Mahoney and sent in a cross and with Stephenson lurking in the centre he found Hine and the back post and his shot went across Barton and in off the post.

Chorley took advantage of some tired Brig legs and with four minutes of normal time remaining they bagged a fourth.

Stephenson was put through on ball and with a cool head he rounded a helpless Barton to bag a deserved goal in front of the travelling Chorley faithful.

Sub Harry Winter blazed an effort over the bar late on and the game was played out with ease for the Magpies and all eyes will be on Monday’s draw at lunch time.

Bamber Bridge: Dovey (Barton 45), Mahoney, Bowyer, Lawlor, Alexander, Kay (c), Waddecar, McKenna (Marlow 63), Johnstone, Bell, Mullen.

Subs not used: Doughty, Vasey, Leigh, Reynolds,

Chorley: Ashton, Jacobs, Mather, Teague (c), Smyth, Roscoe, Hine (Mulholland 87), Whitham (Winter 82) , Dean (Jarvis), Dorney, Stephenson

Subs not used: Doyle, Almond, Lynch, Grundy (gk)