Magpies advance in FA Trophy

Dale Whitham
Dale Whitham
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A trip across the Pennines awaits Chorley in the first round proper of the FA Trophy as they emerged victorious upon their trip to Tameside defeating Stalybridge Celtic 2-1.

The impressive Jack Lynch gave the Magpies the lead in the first half before the prolific James Dean doubled the visitors’ lead with eight minutes remaining, Kevin Holsgrove ensured a nervy ending as he scored in the final minute of stoppage time but Chorley held on and they make the trip to Guiseley in round one.

Chorley boss Garry Flitcroft made four changes for the FA Trophy third qualifying round replay.

In came Sam Ashton, Adam Mather, Josh Hine and Dean with Paul Jarvis and Chris Simm dropping to the bench while Aaron Grundy and Chris Almond missed out through illness and injury.

On a freezing cold night at Bower Fold, it was the visitors who had the better of the start having two early corners.

But despite the early possession, it was Ashton who would be tested first, as he comfortably caught a Paul Ennis half volley from eight yards.

Celtic were forced into an early change, Liam Dickinson, who scored on Saturday in the tie at Victory Park, appeared to pull his hamstring while stretching for the ball, he would be replaced by former Halifax Town man Holsgrove.

Chorley again pressured Lewis King in the Celtic goals whipping in a number pacey crosses.

After 23 minutes, a long ball was punted forward, Stalybridge dawdled in their own area and before they had chance to clear their lines, in came Lynch who took advantage of loose ball on the edge of the box carrying the ball a couple of yards before slotting a curled effort past King.

The home side pressed for an equaliser but Ashton remained largely untested between the Chorley posts.

Minutes before half time, George Lomax looked yards offside and despite the assistant referee raising his flag, the referee waved away the flax but the Celtic number nine bizarrely scuffed his chipped effort well wide of the goal.

King was called into action at the other end deflecting a Stephenson shot over the bar and Whitham should have doubled the Magpies’ lead but he could only head wide from four yards.

Early in the second half Ashton comfortably saved an Ennis free-kick and just before the hour mark Hine saw his drilled cross evade Dean who was lurking in the six yard box.

The in-form Stephenson had a golden chance to double the visitors’ lead with 15 minutes remaining, Celtic ‘keeper King rushed out to win the ball on the left wing only to be beaten by the former, but his curled effort from an acute angle went the wrong side of the post.

Mark Ross tremendously headed away a Holsgrove cross with his back to goal as the home side upped the ante as they seeked an equaliser.

With eight minutes remaining and the home side pushing men forward, sub Jarvis found space down the left hand side and his drilled cross was stabbed home on the edge of the box by Dean.

Substitute Astley Mulholland had a chance to round of proceedings but his shot from a narrow angle was comfortably gathered by King.

Sub Holsgrove ensured a nervy ending as his deflected shot from the edge of the area squirmed its way past Ashton but Chorley held on to seal their place in the next round of the cup.

Chorley: Ashton, Jacobs (Jarvis 71), Mather, Teague (c), Ross, Cottrell, Hine (Mulholland 84), Whitham, Dean, Lynch (Lynch 79), Stephenson

Unused subs: Simm, Jansen