Chorley 1 Solihull Moors 3: Boyzone can't inspire Magpies in FA Trophy exit

The Magpies’ under-strength side found the National League promotion-chasers too hot to handle and this FA Trophy tie was virtually settled in a first half totally dominated by the classy visitors.
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The presence of the Boyzone band members provided a pre-match carnival atmosphere as fans queued for selfies with the obliging stars but once the game started Chorley were quickly in trouble.

A chipped effort by Tyrese Shade after just two minutes bounced down from the crossbar and Jack Stevens had a simple tap-in from close range.

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Jack Hazlehurst was very close to an equaliser with a fierce shot which Nick Hayes palmed to safety and the keeper did even better to push an Ellis header from a corner onto his near post.

Chorley boss Andy Preece (photo: David Airey/dia_images)Chorley boss Andy Preece (photo: David Airey/dia_images)
Chorley boss Andy Preece (photo: David Airey/dia_images)

Then Adam Blakeman tested Hayes with a stinging 40-yard drive.

But it was the Moors who looked ever-dangerous in smooth attacking-play and they went two up on 27 minutes. Joe Sbarra worked a pocket of space and fired unerringly into the far corner.

Any hopes Chorley had of rescuing the tie virtually disappeared just before the break when Stevens added Moors’ third goal with a well-placed shot.

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After Joss Labasie had miss a sitter for a fourth, blazing over from two yards soon after the restart, Chorley finally had a sustained impact on the game.

The Moors now had defensive work to do. Mark Ellis was off-target with a close-range opportunity before he crucially cleared off the home line after Sbarra had lobbed on-loan keeper Owen Foster.

To their great credit the Magpies never gave up and were finally rewarded.

After 16-years-old substitute Noel Brindle, in a cameo appearance in the closing minutes, had forced Hayes into a brilliant save with a first-time rocket, Ellis gave home fans in the bumper 2,087 crowd something to cheer, heading past Hayes the fourth minute of added time.

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It was a mere consolation but gave the scoreline a more respectable look, due reward for Chorley’s wholehearted second-half display.

Andy Preece praised the response of his players.

He said: “The start killed us really. Solihull were so clinical in their finishing. Our reaction after the break was a big positive. The boys had a really good go but we had left ourselves too much to do.”

CHORLEY: Foster, Whitehouse, Ellis, Wilson, Blakeman, Hazlehurst (Johnson 65), Shenton (Brindle 89), Calveley (Henley 70), Horbury, Nolan, Ubaezuonu. Unused subs: Dombouya, Green.​​​​​​​