Chorley’s hopes of a money-spinning FA Cup run were shattered in a bewildering thirteen-minutes’ spell of controversial decisions at the end of an otherwise flat first half.
Referee Anthony Moore was roundly booed from the field by angry home fans after harshly dismissing Magpies’ playmaker Tom Ince on the half-hour and then awarding Frickley two penalties which put the visitors in control at half-time.
Chris Denham had almost found the target for Chorley in the early stages with a first-time dipping volley but proceedings were largely uneventful until the first flashpoint occurred.
Ince appeared to jump clear of a lunging touchline tackle but was adjudged to have stamped on his opponent on landing, though contact looked minimal and accidental.
Chorley’s problems increased on 37 minutes when Andy Teague blocked a header in the box with an upraised arm and Gavin Allott stroked Frickley into the lead from the spot.
If that penalty was clear-cut, the second six minutes later was highly debatable.
A fierce shot at close quarters struck Andy Russell on the upper arm and a linesman instantly signalled another spot-kick which after lengthy protests Allott again converted.
An own goal by Lee Stratford, who turned a Dale Whitham header into his own net in the 58th minute, raised hopes of a Magpies’ fightback and Ciaran Kilheeney should have converted a neat Darren Stephenson cut-back rather than scoop his shot wide from three yards.
Allott made the Magpies suffer with a free header at close range from a corner on 66 minutes to steady the visitors’ nerves but Chorley continued to press and substitute Tom Williams fired over from Kilheeney’s intelligent lay-off.
Williams then injured himself in collision with the advertising-boards and his withdrawal soon afterwards reduced Chorley to nine men for the final fifteen minutes.
Yet the home side’s persistence had Frickley hanging on. Stephenson saw a powerful drive deflected over the bar and then surged through to force Tom Whitehead into a finger-tip save at his near post from a rising drive.
In a breakway raid, Luke Hinslay was denied a fourth for the visitors by a fine reflex save by Jack Cudworth and there was still time for Stephenson to miss a real sitter at the other end from Kilheeney’s clever short pass.
Chorley had been odds-on favourites to win this one at the kick-off but in the event crucially failed to strike a blow themselves prior to that triple pre-interval setback.
Attendance : 642