United hopes sunk as Whitham hits winner

FC United v Chorley Dale Whitham celebrates his goal
FC United v Chorley Dale Whitham celebrates his goal

Chorley will be making a trip to Ellesmere Port after a fine victory over FC United of Manchester in the FA Cup first qualifying round.

A 62nd-minute strike from Dale Whitham ensured the Magpies would be safely through into the next round where they make the trip Skrill North side Vauxhall Motors.

The tie is to be played on Saturday, September 28.

The win for Chorley sent the travelling supporters wild, but the game could took a negative look after midfielder Jake Cottrell was on the receiving end of a malicious tackle from Tom Davies, which saw theFC United player dismissed.

The opening exchanges saw both sides cancelling each other out, with keepers Sam Ashton and James Spencer mere spectators.

Apart from a mix-up between skipper Andy Teague and Ashton which nearly allowed FC United a glorious effort on goal the home side rarely threatened sending numerous efforts over the bar.

Chorley similarly had few efforts, with the best coming from Whitham, who saw a snapshot just sail over the bar with keeper Spencer helpless.

Play improved in the second half with both managers very vocally encouraging their sides from the touchline.

Darren Stephenson, returning from injury, blasted wide.

But then came the turning point in the game.

Davies lunged heavily on Cottrell and referee William Smallwood blew hastily on his whistle and ordered Davies to leave the field.

The numerical advantage soon showed itself, as Josh Hine broke with almighty pace, although he was thwarted by an excellent last-ditch tackle.

Stephenson and Paul Jarvis then both missed the ball with the goal begging as the Magpies started to go threw the gears.

But despite their numerical disadvantage, FC United had chances themselves.

A sloppy challenge from the returning Kieran Walmsley,

who hadmissed the start of the season with a groin injury, led to a FC United free-kick.

That was met by a United head and the ball thundered off the bar before

Chorley just managed to clear without any more danger.

Whitham then headed over before, five minutes later, the goal all-important Magpies goal came.

Jarvis, who impressed throughout the game, broke inside the opposition half and under pressure from two defenders, slid the path of Whitham, who poked the ball in the back of the net past the diving Spencer to send the travelling Magpies wild.

With a goal and a one-man advantage, Chorley had the cushion they needed but FC still pushed bringing on former Magpie Matt Walwyn to push for a goal.

Ashton turned a cross over the bar but skipper Teague almost scored the goal of his career.

The skipper neatly flicked the ball on at the front post from a Jarvis cross but the deft flick was blocked on the line by a scrambling FC United defender.

With just minutes to go, FC United had one final chance but Ashton did well to palm a chance wide after a well struck cross hit Teague’s head.

The final whistle brought rapturous celebrations from both players, fans and management as the victory was only Garry Flitcrofts second as Magpies manager in the

FA Cup.

Flitcroft was overjoyed by the performance of his side.

He said: “I thought we looked solid throughout even before the sending off.

“It shows how well we are playing at the moment to come here and win like this.

“We won away at AFC Fylde and now here at FC United, so it shows we really means


Flitcroft was also full of praise for matchwinner Whitham, who again really impressed.

He added: “Dale was excellent once again and it was a fine individual goal.”

Chorley: Ashton, Walmsley, Teague, O’Brien, Mather, Jarvis, Baker, Cottrell, Whitham, Hine, Stephenson (Dean). Subs : Grundy, O’Neill, Vermiglio, Wiles, Meaney, Dean