Cup victory gives Garry a big boost

Darren Stevenson, of Chorley,  and Brig's Matt Mahoney in the thick of the action

Darren Stevenson, of Chorley, and Brig's Matt Mahoney in the thick of the action

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Chorley manager Garry Flitcroft felt his Magpies side were worthy winners in their FA Cup clash with Bamber Bridge at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

The Conference North side beat their local rivals 4-1 in front of a bumper crowd.

Goals from James Dean, Tom Smyth, Josh Hine and Darren Stephenson delivered the victory in the third qualifying round and put them in the hat for the next stage

It was a well-contested clash with no quarter given, Chorley displaying a clinical side to their play in the opposition penalty box.

Flitcroft said: “I told my lads before the game to be physical against them for the first 20 minutes.

“I watched Bamber Bridge last Tuesday night against Lancaster and they are a physical and big side.

“We set off really well and scored goals at good times.

“We played three in midfield and I thought Jack Dorney and Dale Whitham were excellent in pressing Paul McKenna and Matty Kay – they didn’t give them any room to play.

“Then our three up top caused Bamber Bridge problems all day.

“All the four goals we scored were good goals and we hit the post a couple of times too so we could have had a couple more.

“In all fairness it was a good game and a fantastic crowd.

“To have more than 2,000 inside the ground was brilliant and it was great for both teams to play in front of a big crowd like that.

“The goal we conceded was a bit disappointing.

“I think Sam Ashton will think that he could have done a lot better on the goal.

“He should have caught hold of it or punched it.

“At that point it went from 2-0 to 2-1 and Bamber Bridge got their tails up.

“But in all fairness we scored quite soon after to make it 3-1 and then scored a fourth.”

Flitcroft brought skipper Andrew Teague back into the side, with him replacing Chris Doyle who is on loan from Morecambe.

And the Magpies boss felt Teague had a big influence on the game, as did Stephenson who rounded-off the scoring.

Said Flitcroft: “Chris Doyle has been brilliant since he came in.

But I just felt that in a derby, we needed our skipper out there, he’s a local lad.

“I thought that he played brilliantly at the back, as did Tom Smyth.

“Darren Stephenson has worked hard for us all season and is a big powerful lad.

“His finishing last Monday night at Hyde was excellent and he did very well again.

“He is a great lad and we have a lot of power up top.”

Flitcroft is keeping his fingers crossed that the draw for the fourth qualifying round can land Chorley a home tie with a Conference side.

“I hope we get a big Conference side at home, I fancy anyone at home,” he said.

“We are going well and have a good home record. It would be nice to see a big side at Victory Park.

“I hope we get a good game for the fans, it would be nice to see it full like we did against FC United and Chester a couple of seasons ago.

“The further you can go in the FA Cup, the better.

“It is great for the revenue of the club and for the fans, and great for my lads.

“If we could get a side from the Conference it would be a good test – we have players who could play at that level.”