Chorley lift Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy after thrilling victory over Clitheroe
National League North Chorley started a season-defining week with silverware as they claimed the Lancashire Challenge Trophy for a record 18th time.
It was a tame start at Bolton’s Macron Stadium but the game soon sprang to life once a Chorley side, with just three players remaining from Saturday’s fightback victory at Tamworth, started to click.
Matt Jansen had made the changes with the final two games of the season later this week as they bid to earn the two points that will guarantee a play-off spot.
Despite the mass change of personnel Chorley still fielded a competitive side with the experience of Adam Roscoe, Matty Hughes and Lee Molyneux blended in with the youngsters.
Delial Brewster got his eye in early but failed to trouble the NPL First Division outfit.
Clitheroe took the lead when a ball over the top was misjudged by youngster Ben Lighfoot, with Kurt Willoughby alert enough to fire past Matt Urwin.
They could have made it 2-0 minutes later as Danny Brady nodded a free header straight at Chorley No.1 Urwin.
But this Magpies side never give up and Wigan loanee Luke Burgess popped up with his first goal.
The 19-year-old’s slick interchange with fellow young forward Jordan Darr saw Michael Sampson trip him in the box.
And he dusted himself down to calmly slot the ball home in the 30th minute.
Willoughby threatened again but Burgess was not keen to be outshone, curling a tantalising set-piece towards the far post that Brewster just could not convert.
Clitheroe went for the jugular but Joe Mitchell’s first-time effort failed to get past a wall of bodies and it ended all square at the break.
Jack Lenehan trudged off with a knock in the second half after a strong challenge from Ross Dent.
But despite a purple a purple patch and a fine chance for George West, Clitheroe could not take the lead.
They were punished by the Magpies as a corner fell to Dale Whitham and he drilled the ball home from the edge of the box in the 74th minute.
Then it was Urwin’s turn to be the hero as he batted away another effort from dangerman Willoughby.
Chorley went on to clinch victory in injury time as Brewster stole in to chip the ball past Curtis Thompson.
West got one back seconds later with a fine curling strike but it was Chorley’s night as they started a huge week with silverware.