Lambs are silenced by super Magpies show

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Chorley went into this match having only lost one Vanarama Conference North game this season and again showed their credentials against a Tamworth side who ended the game with nine men.

Having left Harry Winter out the squad and drafting in the one replacement, that being Adam Mather for the injured Adam Dodd, Chorley took the game to the home side, and well and truly dominated.

Early exchanges saw a Cottrell header claimed easily by Tamworth keeper James Belshaw.

James Dean’s header was punched off his goal line by Belshaw, and the effervescent Darren Stephenson, who showed pace and control all afternoon, saw an effort blocked as Mather’s effort from the rebound ended in the same fashion.

Tamworth received the first of two red cards on 28 minutes.

Shane Clarke’s two -footed lunge on Jack Dorney on the right touchline saw referee Mr Tankard show the Tamworth man a straight red.

From the resulting free-kick, Smyth’s flick-on in the box saw the ball drift wide of the far post.

Garry Flitcroft’s charges noticeably changed up a gear, and almost took the lead when Stephenson inadvertently got in the way of an Andy Teague header, but they were rewarded seconds later.

A pinpoint cross from the left from Jake Cottrell found Josh Hine between two napping defenders and he glanced the header past Belshaw to put the visitors a goal up.

Three minutes later the lead was doubled.

A ball sent from deep and was latched on to by James Dean, taking a touch into the left-side of the penalty area before volleying the ball from close range past a stranded Belshaw.

There was, though, an element of doubt in the moments ensuing, as assistant referee Hall had raised his flag for an offside on Dean, but after consultation and correction, Mr Tankard awarded the goal, as the pass to Dean came off the head of home defender Danny Preston.

With the game heading towards half-time, Tamworth found themselves down to nine men.

Paul Green went up for a challenge with Cottrell, elbowed the Chorley man in the face and was sent down the tunnel for an early bath.

This challenge left the Chorley midfielder needing stitches to a wound which later was revealed to be a fractured cheekbone.

After the break, it was a case of damage limitation for Dale Belford’s Tamworth.

For most of the 45 minutes, they had eight men behind the ball as Chorley stroked the ball between defence and midfield with ease as the result was never in any doubt.

The home side though did strike the crossbar with a cross-shot volley from Townsend.

Chorley’s icing on the cake came with four minutes left.

Stephenson raced clear down the left flank on the counter attack, and with sight on goal, and unlike in the FA Trophy match eight months ago, he unselfishly played in Hine to his right to fire past a helpless Belshaw and celebrate in front of the travelling Magpies fans

Chorley could have indeed added to their tally in added time, but Belshaw pulled out a super save to deny substitute Jack Lynch, and Kyle Jacobs’ rasping 20-yard drive cannoned on to the outside of the right-hand post.

CHORLEY: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Tom Smyth, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Jack Dorney, Darren Stephenson

Subs: Adam Roscoe (Whitham 44), Paul Jarvis (Cottrell 46), Jack Lynch (Teague 76), Chris Almond, Aaron Grundy

Attendance: 863 (144 Chorley fans)