Chorley can cut down Forest

Lancashire Telegraph: Garry Flitcroft Garry Flitcroft

THE atmosphere in the Chorley camp is ‘buzzing’ before the biggest non-league game in East Lancashire since Accrington Stanley won promotion to the Football League in 2006.

Chorley, who have won 14 of their last 15 matches in all competitions, welcome Skrill Premier outfit Forest Green Rovers to Victory Park tomorrow for a mouth-watering FA Trophy tie.

Moneybags Forest Green, bankrolled by the millions of Green Energy tycoon Dale Vale, play two steps up the non-league ladder from the Magpies and so are firm favourites for the second-round clash.

But there is a quiet confidence among the Chorley management team and players that they can pull off a huge upset.

That confidence was strengthened on Tuesday night when Gary Flitcroft’s side booked their place in the semi-finals of the Lancashire FA Trophy Challenge.

The 2-0 home win over Ramsbottom United ensured Chorley banished the memory of last Saturday’s surprise 2-1 Evo-Stik League Premier Division loss to Barwell – a loss which ended their club record 13-game winning run.

It also ensured spirits are high going into tomorrow’s eagerly anticipated encounter.

Magpies manager Flitcroft said: “It’s going to be a monster game.

“And it’s not going to be an easy game for them because we’re going to be right up for it.

“We’ll be the underdogs but I’ve just got a little feeling we might get something.

“The lads are buzzing for it.

“It’s a game we’re all looking forward to.

“There’s going to be a big crowd and let’s hope we put a performance on.”

Forest Green have won five of their last seven matches since former Gillingham defender Adrian Pennock was appointed their manager early last month.

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But Chorley go into the game on the back of that midweek win over Ramsbottom.

Flitcroft had no doubts the Magpies would bounce back from their defeat to Barwell.

He said: “There was no need to get carried away.

“We’d just won 13 games on the trot and of the 26 or so games we’ve played this season I think we’ve only lost three matches.

“There’s going to be ups and downs – it’s just making sure the squad is right.”

One member of Flitcroft’s squad in particular impressed against Rossendale.

Alex Meaney has found it difficult to force his way into Chorley’s starting line-up since his summer arrival from Stockport County.

But the midfielder gave his boss a timely reminder of his talents on Tuesday when he set the Magpies on their way to victory with his first goal for the club.

Flitcroft said: “He’s got good ability but the way the team’s been playing he’s not been getting his chance.

“He plays in a certain role – I think his best position is behind a striker – but that’s not a system we’ve been using.

“But it’s nice to have that option. I know what he can do. He scored a great goal – showing good feet and a cool head to slot it in.”

Scouts from Forest Green, 13th in the Conference were watching the Magpies for the second game running.

The winners of tomorrow’s tie will earn £6,000 in prize money and progress to the last 16 of the FA Trophy, the final of which is held at Wembley.

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