Chorley Ladies progress in FA Cup after dramatic tie against Middlesbrough
Chorley ladies enjoyed a famous FA Cup victory over Middlesbrough in the first round proper, progressing via a dramatic penalty shootout after a titanic battle which saw the tie finish 4-4.
The home side looked down and out when they fell behind courtesy of two early goals and then went 3-1 down early in the second half.
However, they battled back gamely and in the end, they could have won it in normal time but held their nerve in the shootout to win 4-1.
After last week’s defeat in the League Cup, the Magpies were looking forward to bouncing back against Boro, who ply their trade in the division above.
Boro started the brighter of the two sides but Chorley had the best of the chances when Aleesha Collins burst through the Boro defence with only the keeper to beat but, her shot hit the side netting.
Minutes later Boro deservedly opened the scoring on when Faye Dale produced a great strike from 15 yards.
Soon after Dale doubled her tally when a speculative low drive went through a body of players and nestled into the bottom corner.
At this point and against higher opposition, Chorley could have capitulated but manager Ben Gooden has instilled a unity and never-say-die attitude in this special group of players and instead Chorley rallied and grew into the game.
It was 16-year-old Collins ,on her FA Cup debut, who started the comeback when she drove at the Boro defence beating several players before calmly putting the ball in the net.
It was Collins again who had a wonderful chance to equalise just before half-time but her touch took her wide and the Boro defence managed to recover.
Chorley had not been outplayed in the first half and had created the better chances but Boro had dominated possession.
The Magpies came out the stronger of the two sides after the break but found themselves 3-1 down when Eve Marshall scored another well driven shot for Boro.
It wasn’t long before the Magpies replied, Ellie Cleary was dragged down in the box, the ensuing penalty was saved by the Boro keeper but Collins was on hand to tap in the rebound to make it 3-2.
Chorley pressed for the equaliser and it came on 50 minutes when Collins was in the right place at the right time again to complete an FA Cup hat-trick 3-3.
On 61 minutes, Dale completed her hat-trick for Boro with another clinical finish and Boro once again took the initiative to lead 4-3.
However, just five minutes later, Collins scored her fourth goal of the game coolly putting the ball in the top corner from close range on the volley 4-4.
Boro were shellshocked.
Chorley piled on the pressure but couldn’t get the winning goal and extra time loomed.
Both teams ran themselves into the ground in extra-time, Chorley having the best chance to win the game when the ball landed at Megan Searson’s feet five yards out but she could only put the ball right into the keeper’s arms.
That was cue for the penalty shootout. Chorley took first and captain Laura Walker stepped up and fired high into the net. It was then advantage Chorley as Boro then missed.
Charlotte Evans then turned the screw to make it 2-0 for the hosts but Boro halved the deficit by scoring their next.
Lisa Topping maintained Chorley’s 100% record in the next kick while Boro were once again unsuccessful.
It was left to 16-year-old Collins to win it and she duly did, crashing the ball home to win a truly enthralling tie.
Chorley are in cup action again this Sunday at Blainscough Park vs Morecambe Ladies, kick-off is 2pm.
Team: Emma Bradley, Isabel Catlow, Lisa Topping, Megan Searson, Katie Holt, Laura Walker ©, Charlotte Evans, Carra Jones, Aleesha Collins, Rachel Hindle, Rachel Wood. Subs: Ellie Cleary (46’), Katie Matthews (115’), Ellie Mills, Kerry Nickson, Emma Hickson.
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