Chorley 8 Darlington 0: Ruthless Magpies rout Quakers
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It was a game in which everything went wrong for the Quakers and their goose was cooked in the first seven minutes.
That said, the visitors’ display was tactically embarrassing. As their manager admitted afterwards: “There is nothing good I can say about that performance.”
The Magpies raced into a fourth-minute lead, Mark Ellis blasting the ball into the net when a corner reached him at the far post.
Then three minutes later Darlington were reduced to 10 men when Andrew Nelson was inevitably shown a straight red card for a dangerous high challenge. Add to that the loss through injury of two players and the recipe for a rout was complete.
Two cracking goals put Chorley in total control.
On 23 minutes Adam Henley drove a daisy-cutter just inside the post from 20 yards, then six minutes later Ollie Shenton posted a candidate for goal of the season with a strike from almost 30 yards which dipped just under bar.
Darlington somehow survived to the break without further loss but any hopes that a brief revival after the interval would prove productive were dashed when on 53 minutes Justin Johnson cut inside to find the bottom corner with a well-placed shot for Chorley’s fourth.
Andy Preece rang the changes at this stage and, after Mike Calveley had thumped a header against the bar, substitute Josh Popoola was the creator of the fifth goal, skimming a low ball across the box which the unmarked Billy Whitehouse emphatically converted.
The next two Chorley goals were gift-wrapped. A defender’s careless pass across the penalty-area found no-one except Whitehouse who cracked the ball into the net to make it six and there was sheer comedy about the Magpies’ seventh in the 83rd minute.
Quakers’ substitute Adrian Moke from out wide unaccountably clipped a looping pass beyond his stranded keeper Tommy Taylor which nestled in the far corner of the net.
Then in added time a clumsy foul brought Chorley a penalty which Whitehouse dispatched to complete his second-half hat-trick.
“We were simply ruthless,” said Preece, “And the quality of some of our goals was top drawer. The boost this win has given our goal-difference is massive in such a tight league.”
CHORLEY: Urwin, Moore, Henley (Wilson 71), Ellis, Smith, Nolan, Calveley, Shenton, Sampson (Moyo 58), Whitehouse, Johnson (Popoola 58). Unused subs. Hazlehurst, Ubaezuonu.