Chorley are champions

Josh Hine
Josh Hine
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The prolific Josh Hine was Chorley’s saviour as his two goals sealed a 2-0 victory and Conference North football for the Victory Park outfit in the 2014/15 season.

Hine scored either side of the interval to seal the victory and an Evo-Stik League Premier Division crown in a fixture which saw more than 1000 travel from Chorley to support their team.

The game started scrappily with the wind dictating the majority of play in the early stages.

Despite the even start it was Buxton who had the first effort on goal, centre-half Sam Brooks rising above everybody inside the penalty area, but his header could only flick the top of the crossbar.

After a scrappy period of play which saw neither side trouble their respected goalkeepers, the Chorley faithful were almost sent into raptures after 25 minutes.

Paul Jarvis excellently manoeuvred his way down the left wing and his pin point cross found an unmarked James Dean but his header bullet header went well wide of goal.

One minute later, Chorley again could have taken the lead, skipper Teague leapt in the air from a corner but the effort was cleared off the line by Neil Stevens.

Matt Thornhill then played in Buxton’s leading goalscorer Mark Reed but the latter could only blaze wide of Sam Ashton’s goal, then five minutes later Craig Kind hit a drilled effort wide of goal.

With just three minutes remaining, Chorley picked up the pace in the game and after a short spell of pressure The Silverlands erupted as they grabbed a vital goal.

Dean out muscled his marker inside the area and with his back to goal he squared to an unmarked Hine who slotted calmly past the helpless Andy Warrington.

The goal sparked the Magpies into life, one minute later they again broke down the left hand side but Max Cartwright’s shot come cross just sailed inches wide of goal.

Chorley started the stronger of the two sides in the second half, Jarvis again causing problems down the left hand side, then Dale Whitham had a strong shout for a penalty as his shot seemed to strike the arm of a Buxton defender.

The Magpies went in search of a second goal but the evergreen Tim Ryan stood firm winning a number of challenges against Dean.

Buxton winger King then sliced a cross into the side netting from eight yards while at the other end, Teague saw his downward header saved by Warrington.

Chorley continued to press for the second goal but both Hine and Dean failed to hit the target with efforts from inside the area.

As the game entered the final stages both sides searched for a goal, Buxton opting for a more direct approach with Chorley pressuring the Buxton fullback’s down the wing.

With 10 minutes left on the clock, Buxton increased the pressure on a nervy Chorley, Morris and King both seeing crosses flash through the area.

Hine then rasped a shot into the side netting and then was the game entered stoppage time, Chorley sealed their title.

Sub Jack Dorney broke the Buxton back line and after squaring inside the area he found an unmarked Hine who tapped the ball in an empty net and sent the travelling Chorley fans wild.

After a brief pitch invasion from the Chorley fans, the game petered out with Hine skewing an effort wide of goal and as the referee’s whistle brought an end to the game, the scenes at Silverlands will never be forgotten as 1,000 Chorley fans invaded the pitch to celebrate the clubs success.

Chorley : Ashton, Ross, Cartwright, Teague (c), O’Brien, Hine, Cottrell, Whitham, Vermiglio (Woolcott 64) , Dean, Jarvis (Dorney 78)

Subs not used : Roscoe, Almond, Nicholson

Bamber Bridge will travel to Warrington Town in the NPL First Division North play-off semi-finals.

The men from Irongate have finished fourth in the table after drawing 0-0 with Ramsbottom United at the Riverside.

That result also ensured Ramsbottom will take their place in the play-offs at the expense of Lancaster City, who miss out on goal difference.

The Dolly Blues were 1-0 victors over champions Curzon Ashton thanks to Henry Winder’s 45th minute strike.

Elsewhere in the division, Burscough surprised second-placed Darlington 1883 2-1 away from home with Mark Beesley on target twice.

Kendal Town were beaten 1-0 by Radcliffe Borough.

In the Premier Division, AFC Fylde warmed-up for the play-offs by beating Kings Lynn Town 1-0 at Kellamergh Park.

Matt Blinkhorn’s 73rd minute strike was the difference between teams it secured Fylde a home semi final tie against Worksop Town on Tuesday night in the play-offs.

The Coasters finished in fourth spot in the table – four points behind champions Chorley.

In the Conference Premier, Southport threw away a 3-1 half-time advantage to lose 4-3 at Welling.

Ross Lafayette put Welling ahead before Southport’s Luke George scored a 35-yard volley.

Vikky Mukendi and John O’Sullivan gave the visitors a two-goal cushion but Harry Beautyman curled in a free-kick after half-time before Jake Gallagher equalised.

Lafayette gave the hosts victory from the spot after Aristote Nsiala, later sent off for a second booking, was adjudged to have handled in the area.

The result meant John Coleman’s men finished in 18th spot in the table – two points above the relegation zone.