MATCH REPORT: Chorley 3 Colne 0

Danny Ellis was forced off at half-time in the 2-1 win over Stockport County (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

Danny Ellis was forced off at half-time in the 2-1 win over Stockport County (Photo: Caught Light Photography)

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Chorley are one game away etching their name on the LFA Challenge Trophy for a record 17th time after beating Colne 3-0 at the County Ground.

After a lacklustre opening 45 minutes the lure of gleaming silverware enticed the Magpies into action in the second half as the gulf between the National League North side and North West Counties Premier Division outfit Colne told on a damp and dreary night in Leyland.

Chorley boss Matt Jansen made two changes to the side that sensationally fought back to beat AFC Fylde 3-2 at Victory Park last week.

Captain Andy Teague was rested and Adam Roscoe left out of the squad as a precaution.

So midfielder Tom Field was handed his first start in the famous black and white stripes whilst Kieran Charnock replaced Teague.

It was Colne who were the brighter of the two sides in the opening exchanges.

Colne danger man Jason Hart sensed a giant killing and used his lightning quick pace to carve out three chances in the first half but it was not to be.

And it was Chorley who showed a glimpse of what was to come as Andy Bond’s fierce free-kick stung Curtis Thompson’s palms and Magpies striker Connerton’s looping header made the shot-stopper back pedal and make a fine one handed save to thwart the Magpies.

It was all square at the break but Chorley took the lead in the 54th minute as Jordan Connerton’s shot crashed into the arm of Colne defender Alexander Coleman giving referee Martin Woods no option other than to award a penalty.

Striker Darren Stephenson was cool as a cucumber as he effortlessly sent keeper Chris Thompson the wrong way and rolled the ball into the bottom left corner.

It was two four minutes later as the impressive Andy Bond whipped a corner from the left into the path of Keiran Charnock at the back stick and the centre back nodded the ball towards goal.

The ball appeared to have squeezed across the line but Colne made a last ditch scramble and hoofed the ball away.

However their efforts were too late as Charnock wheeled away in celebration as the assistant referee and Mr Woods rightfully awarded the goal.

Striker James Dean made an early return from an ankle injury and made an impact as he replaced goal scorer Stephenson in the 67th minute.

Hit-man Dean is normally on the end of crosses but the big striker provided a peach of a ball into the box that strike-partner Connerton poked home in the 75th minute.

Dale Whitham only came on as a late substitute in Chorley’s game against Fylde last week after recovering from a virus.

Whitham made an earlier appearance in the 14th minute for Paul Jarvis and oh so nearly teed-up his fellow returnee Dean to mark his comeback in style.

But unfortunately Dean could not put the icing on the cake and add a fourth in the 89th minute as he blazed over from close range.

Despite the result - and the constant downpour - the small pocket of travelling Colne fans sang their hearts out.

Now the cup holders will now face either Lancaster City or Padiham in the final at Bolton Wanderers Macron Stadium.

Chorley: Ashton, Bond, Ross, Charnock, Beesley, Lynch, Cottrell, Field, Jarvis (Whitham, 14), Connerton (Correira, 77), Stephenson (Dean, 67). Subs not used: Bailey, Teague.

Colne: Thompson, Hoskin, Pugh, Coleman, Williams, Nangle, Demaine (Craig, 72), Anderson, Hart (Taylor, 64), Boyle, Morrison. Subs not used: Jordan, Halfacre, Berwick.