MATCH REPORT: Chorley 1 Fleetwood 2
Joey Barton's unbeaten start to life as Fleetwood Town boss was nearly toppled by his own cousin, Chorley midfielder Josh Wilson but a quick-fire Ash Hunter double ensured that winning run rolled on.
Wilson opened the scoring for the National League North side in the eighth minute as Jamie Vermiglio’s side, managed for the night by his assistant Andy Preece, took the game by the scruff of the neck.
But despite National League North Chorley’s bright start they could not get that all important second goal and Hunter showed his poaching qualities with a two goals just before the break.
Chorley started brightly and should have taken the lead in the third minute, midfielder Josh O’Keefe’s delightful ball releasing Marcus Carver but his neat chip dropped the wrong side of the left post. That scare woke Fleetwood up as Paddy Madden’s header clattered into the post but the looming Ashley Nadesan could not gobble up the rebound and the chance was wasted.
Carver did the damage as Chorley kept asking questions of Fleetwood.
He breezed past Gethin Jones on the left after a neat set-up by Elliott Newby as the forward fizzed the ball into the path of Wilson.
And he put his cousin’s unbeaten record as Town boss at risk by bundling the ball past Town’s trialist keeper Paul Jones.
Cameron Belford looks an astute signing by Chorley as he made two fine fingertip stops to thwart firstly Hunter and then a Ged Garner 30-yard screamer.
Garner had entered the fray after Jason Holt was withdrawn as a precaution after picking up a knee knock, new Burnley signing Dean Marney making his Fleetwood debut.
Chorley had been the better side in the opening exchanges but after Wilson nodded an Adam Blakeman set-piece at Town’s trialist shot-stopper, Fleetwood woke up.
With a player of Hunter’s qualities in their ranks they always had a chance of goals and it was a piece of individual brilliance from the attacker that got them back in the game.
A sublime 40th-minute strike followed by another two minutes later turned the game on its head.
But Chorley continued to ask questions in the second half.
Substitute Alex Newby added some fresh impetus but the Magpies could not find a leveller despite their good play as Fleetwood’s kids saw the game outsome of the more senior players how it is done by seeing the game out with ease as both sides made substitutions with the new season now round the corner on Saturday.