Nine man nightmare for Magpies away at Rushall

Garry Flitcroft
Garry Flitcroft

Rushall Olympic blew the Evo-Stik League Premier Division title race wide open once again defeating top-of-the-table Chorley 1-0.

A solitary strike from Ahmed Obeng in the 13th minute sealed the victory for the Pics.

The Magpies ended the game with nine men as defenders Keil O’Brien and Kieran Walmsley were sent off in the second half by referee Oliver Yates

Despite the loss Chorley still sit top of the table of the table with a three point lead.

The first real attack of the tie brought the opening goal, the pacy Obeng evaded an O’Brien challenge inside the area and calmly slotted past the helpless Sam Ashton.

The Pics, 1-0 winners at Victory Park last month proved to be an aerial threat all half with the experienced Dele Adebola causing plenty of problems for Keil O’Brien.

The Magpies grew into the game seeing more of the ball throughout a long stage in the first half.

Paul Jarvis then had Chorley’s first real threat on goal as his cross was clawed off the line by Chris Gemmell, despite the clearance falling to James Dean the big striker could only slice the follow up wide.

Dean was involved in the action again after he headed wide from a Whitham free kick while at the other end, Jamie Vermiglio blocked a goal bound James Dance effort.

Jack Dorney then sliced an effort wide of the top left hand corner, after the ball appeared to bobble just as he hit his effort goal bound.

Ashton a mere spectator since the opening goal then made the save of the half after he spectacularly cleared off the line from an unmarked Jack Duggan.

Former Kidderminster man James Dance then blasted a free kick over the cross bar while Dale Whitham had a corner punched off the line by Gemmell.

Buoyed by the travelling supporters, the Magpies started the stronger of the side with Almond causing plenty of problems for Jimmy Turner down the left wing.

Minutes later, Dean found himself one on one with Gemmell but the big striker could only hit his half volley straight at the onrushing goalkeeper.

Gemmell was involved in the action once again as he saved from a looping Teague header.

Chorley were then reduced to 10 men just before the hour mark - O’Brien lunged in on Turner and referee Yates had no hesitation producing the red card.

Despite the man less Chorley coped well and boss Flitcroft chose to introduce the lively Brandon Zibaka who replaced Jack Dorney and Kieran Walmsley returning from injury came on for Jake Cottrell.

Goalscorer Obeng then squared to sub Josh Craddock but the latter could only blast his effort over the bar from 10 yards.

The extra man turned the game scrappy with both sides struggling to keep hold of possession.

Craddock then headed over from a corner whilst Teague glanced a header well wide from a Whitham corner.

Chorley struggled to break down a stubborn Rushall side in the final stages of the game with skipper Gavin Caines dominating the Chorley front line.

With just minutes remaining in stoppage time it went from bad to worse for Chorley as sub Walmsley was sent off by referee Yates for kicking out at Mugisha.

Adam Roscoe had a free kick blocked in the final minute of the game but Rushall held on for the victory and deserved their three points.

Chorley : - Ashton, Ross, Jarvis, Teague (c), O’Brien, Vermiglio (Roscoe 77), Cottrell (Walmsley 60), Whitham, Almond, Dean, Dorney (Zibaka 71)

Subs not used: Stephenson, Woolcott. Sent off : O’Brien (57), Walmsley (90)