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Chorley's efforts end with a long trip to Forest Green
Chorley 0 Forest Green Rovers 0
FA Trophy second round
TWO divisions and a wallet-busting wage bill affording full-time professional contracts separated Chorley from Forest Green Rovers as the two sides collided on a foul FA Trophy day at Victory Park – but it was the minnows who felt aggrieved at failure to claim an upset.
Garry Flitcroft’s men are not used to being the underdogs but against the Skrill Premier outfit they were not given too much hope.
Flitcroft, however, knows what his men are capable of and retained the belief – and they were so close.
Instead of cracking open the champagne, the Magpies were left to contemplate a tortuous journey to the West Country for tomorrow night’s replay.
It could have been so much better and when James Dean was nudged over in the area by Ed Asafu-Adajaye in the second minute of stoppage time they had every right to expect a penalty.
However, that was not forthcoming. It was tough on the Magpies and even Forest Green boss Adrian Pennock expected the sternest of punishment.
Rovers had played the majority of the second half with 10 men after man mountain striker Danny Wright was sent off for elbowing Andy Teague, the gale force wind and driving rain Chorley were kicking into meant any advantage was negated.
Wright should have walked in the first half after he elbowed Jamie Veriglio in an incident missed by all the officials.
The pair did enter the notebook for their subsequent tiff in the 19th minute – but had the striker received his punishment then when Chorley were all over Rovers it could have been such a different story.
It was a nervous start by the Magpies and Jared Hodgkiss and England C star James Norwood both went close from distance before Sam Ashton saved smartly from Matt Barnes-Homer.
Marcus Kelly then was left stunned after his run into the box appeared certain to result in a goal only for Ashton to brilliantly tip over – and then Chorley got into gear.
Dean tried two audacious overhead kicks and Hine also went close as they more than matched their rivals and should have been ahead by the break.
The second half was always going to be a battle with Forest Green’s full-time fitness surely coming to the fore.
even when Wright saw red for his ludicrous elbow the visitors remained composed and used the elements to their advantage.
Such was the wind, Chorley had difficulty clearing their lines and with the pitch cutting up thanks to the incessant rain getting the ball down and passing was a challenge.
But they ran and ran and twice Paul Jarvis set up Dean only for the striker to be denied by keeper Sam Russell’s acrobatics.
As the game entered the final 15 minutes Rovers looked to up the ante and Barnes-Homer again brought a fine save out of Ashton while Yan Klukowski’s delicious chip from 30 yards after a storming run was a foot wide.
But back came Chorley and Darren Stephenson fired at Russell when he should have scored and the keeper somehow kept out Dale Whitham’s effort from the corner of the box.
Then came that fateful moment at the end.
Dean did well to find space and as he looked to shoot Turley sent him to the ground.
But referee Peter Bankes, maybe unsighted, looked to his assistant and then waved play-on.
What they would have given for a different outcome.
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