Chorley 0, Guiseley 1
Despite putting in what manager Matt Jansen afterwards described as '˜one of the performances of the season', Chorley were bundled out of the FA Trophy in a very physical, keenly-contested cup-tie.
National Premier side Guiseley staged a successful smash-and-grab raid on Victory Park, rode their luck on occasions but fought tenaciously to hold onto a lead given to them by Michael Rankine’s towering header from a 17th minute corner.
The goal came against the run of play, the Magpies having had shots blocked in a hectic first-minute goalmouth scramble and seen a Dale Whitham header well saved from one of a series of corners.
Recovering quickly from the shock of the goal, Chorley relentlessly pursued an equaliser and a superb piece of one-touch link-up play culminated in a Jason Walker piledriver but with the ball arrowing for the top corner, keeper Jonathan Maxted arched himself to tip it over the bar – the first of two stunning match-winning saves.
Then with the interval approaching, Whitham got in a fierce cross-shot which flew just past the far post. Guiseley almost grabbed a second goal just after the restart.
Shaun Rowley distinguishing himself with a terrific save to tip a powerful shot from Marcus Williams onto the bar and away to safety.
But after that, it was a case of whether Guiseley, frequently resorting to time-wasting and niggling fouls, could hold out against an all-action home side.
They were fortunate to scramble the ball from the jaws of goal in one melee before the Magpies’ best chance went begging.
An inviting low ball across the six-yards’ box reached centre-back Scott Leather but he scooped his shot over the bar when a goal looked a formality.
The stand-out moment of the match arrived five minutes from the end when Walker acrobatically delivered a precise overhead shot from 10 yards which produced a brilliant reaction save by Maxted, plunging to his right and tipping the ball onto the post from where it was hacked clear.
It summed up a frustrating afternoon for Chorley – frustration which was compounded two minutes from time when Stephen Jordan was shown a straight-red card for kicking out at an opponent following a touchline skirmish.
“On another day, we’d have won that game comfortably,” said Jansen.
“The boys were outstanding and just didn’t get what they deserved.’
His opposite number Adam Lockwood was naturally delighted with his team’s first away win of the season: “This place is as hard as anywhere to come to, so it’s a big result for us.”
CHORLEY : Rowley, Challoner, Blakeman, Sheron (Charnock,90), Leather, Jordan, Roscoe (Gonzales,73), Whitham, Carver, Walker, Cottrell. Unused subs. O’Keefe, Jarvis, Azam.