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Chorley FC currently field two sides in the Nerf Junior Premier League at Under 15 and Under 16 age groups.

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MATCH REPORT | U16s in Stalemate Against League Leaders

The Crossbar Denies the Under 16s Against Top of the League Newcastle.

In a rearranged fixture last weekend the young Magpies took on league leaders Newcastle East End. Manager Declan Williams kept faith with the 3-4-3 formation that has worked well over the last few matches.

Ethan Hartland started for the 1st time after recently joining the club and Dan Cowton was moved from his normal role in defence into central midfield.

The match started well for Chorley.The visitors by defensive error that allowed Hartland to pounce and slot in his 1st for the club. Newcastle were quickly level however. Chorley's back line gave them too much time on the ball and East End were level. This brought formation change from the manager, swapping to 4-2-3-1.

Newcastle were on top for much of the rest of the half however Chorley carved out a number of good opportunities that should have brought better rewards. The home side ended the half strongly and went ahead when Hartland got his head onto a corner and steered it home. And it got better for Chorley shortly before half time when Reece Prescott hit one from distance that flew in, a worldy finish. 3-1 at half time and the watching 1st team coach will have been impressed by the way the lads were playing.

Chorley started the 2nd half strongly and again better finishing could have effectively finished the match as a contest. Newcastle then made Chorley pay for these missed chances. A couple of mistakes at the back and they were back level. Newcastle's 2nd came from defending errors and their 3rd came from an unmarked forward from a cross.

The visitors sensed victory. They say lightning doesn't strike twice but earlier in the season Chorley lost to Rochdale Blue when a miss hit cross sailed over the keeper head to win the match 4-3, and the same thing made it 4-3 to Newcastle in this match. A miss hit cross which 98% of the time would sail harmlessly over the bar this time just dipped under and put the visitors ahead for the 1st time in the match.

This time though the young Magpies had time to respond. With 2 minutes left on the clock Ethan Hartland snatched claimed his hat-trick

Into injury time and could the home side grab a winner? Nearly!! Twice in the final moments of the match the crossbar came to Newcastle's rescue. Firstly denying Hartland his 4th of the match and then denying Taylor Brickell.

The match finished 4-4 and in fairness a draw was probably the correct result. The points shared and the return league fixture, currently to be arranged, is one to look forward too.

Following the match Declan Williams hadthis to say 

“Six months we went from losing 4-1 against this top of the league team, to drawing and almost taking the win at the end, massive development shown between the two games, all credit to Newcastle fantastic side and great management team”

U16s MATCH REPORT | Another Win - Away to Rochdale AFC

The Young Magpies Show Heart in Atrocious Conditions.

Chorley’s Under 16’s latest Junior Premier League match saw them travel to Rochdale to take on the “White” section of Rochdale AFC’s Development Centre. After losing to the “Blue” Rochdale side last weekend the 16’s were keen to get back to winning ways quickly.
Manager Dec Williams kept faith with the starting XI that did so well in Tuesday nights friendly and so the 3-4-3 formation was ran out in the league for the 1st time. The temperature at kick off was near freezing and with a gale force wind blowing the chill factor must have been close to -5 degrees. Kicking into this wind in the first half meant it was going to be a long first 40 minutes for the lads.
However, despite the conditions it was Chorley that handled the conditions the best. Rochdale attempted to play the long ball for most of the half but with the back 3 that we have they were never going to get passed. Liam Doyle didn’t have much to do but the one shot that did get passed the back line he dealt with well and pulled out a great save to stop a top corner effort. Chorley looked comfortable on the ball. The windy conditioned forced the lads to play on the floor and at times it looked like Rochdale were chasing shadows. Only a very dubious offside decision stopped Luke Taylor breaking away after 20 minutes with a clear sight of goal. Half time came, and Chorley had done the hard work they needed too to stop Rochdale using the conditions to their advantage.
The 2nd half saw more horrendous weather with the snow now hitting hard as well as the wind, seemingly at times, getting stronger. The orange ball was called for and at one point the referee must have doubts about the match being safe to complete. We were certainly the happier of the two sides to see the match completed as Chorley’s 2nd half performance was of the highest quality. Dom Berry opened the scoring with 50 minutes on the clock with a cracking left foot strike from about 25 yards out. It was nothing less than the lads deserved through their hard work and determination. Rochdale tried desperately to get back into the match, and they were gifted the opportunity when the referee somehow decided to give an indirect free kick inside the penalty area after Doyle picked up the ball from a tackle, but it was deemed to be a back pass! The referee compounded his mistake by allowing Rochdale to take the kick twice after the wall “moved” before the kick was taken. Rochdale took the chance and scored from the rolled back free kick.
This seemed to fire up the young Magpies and within minutes they had had created a few more opportunities on goal. It wasn’t long before they were back in front. Sean Elliot picking the ball up 20 yards out and smashing the shot passed the keeper. The celebrations were loud as the lads clearly saw the equaliser as an injustice. Chorley’s 3rd goal of the match came from Stuart Burgess. His first goal for the club came from him closing down the Rochdale back line and forcing a mistake. Picking the ball up just inside the box he hit his shot passed the keeper to make the game safe for the black and whites.
Chorley saw the match out well and they kept their heads and didn’t react to some heavy challenges and off the ball stuff from Rochdale as they were losing their heads. A great 3 points won and the new 3-4-3 formation is suiting the lads down to the ground.
At the end of the match a happy

Dec Williams said “season is coming to a close so we are attacking aggressively to leave a mark on our season. The lads have come really far and I am proud to see what they have become “

MATCH REPORT | Young Magpies Hold Heads High Despite First Defeat in Eight

A tough night for the young Magpies. 

On Tuesday, Chorley’s under 16’s took on their hardest challenge since inception just 6 months ago; their 3rd match in four days. Accrington Stanley’s Academy were the visitors to the JMO Sports Park in the young Mags first match against a league club’s academy side. 

Confidence was high going into the match after going on a run of seven wins in a row and after Sunday’s comeback win against Stoke RTC. Luke Creegan (illness) and Jack Hughes (knee injury) were missing from the XI that started against Stoke and these were replaced by Sam Mutton, Reece Prescott and Max Foley.

Accrington started on the front foot and the pressure was on Chorley’s back line almost immediately. In the first 10 minutes Accy had a number of opportunities pushing forward but the back 4 and Chorley’s keeper managed to keep out the shots that were coming in. However on 12 minutes Accrington made the break though. After an initial shot was blocked the ball found its way out to the edge of the box where it was hammered home into the bottom corner of Chorley’s goal. Within 5 minutes Accy had added another couple of goals. The first was from a powerful run though the midfield and defence and the shot again found the very bottom corner and the 3rd came from a crossed in free kick that was met by an Accy foot and again found the bottom corner. 3 shots on goal and 3 goals! 

Chorley looked a little punch drunk at this point but as they have done all season they didn’t let their heads go down and they began to press a little higher up field and had a couple of half chances through Taylor Brickell and Sam Mutton.

As the half drew to a close Accrington managed to grab another couple of goals. The fourth came from the penalty spot after an Accy striker was fouled just inside the box as he attempted to go past one of the Chorley central defenders. It was a cast iron penalty and it was fired into the top right hand corner giving the keeper no chance. The fifth came almost immediately when the midfield and defence allowed an Accy player to run though the back line and fire again into the bottom corner.

The 1st half ended with the score 5-0 to Accrington. Rather than let the score line get to them the lads came out for the 2nd half full of purpose. The formation switched to 4-4-2 and it allowed for a little more scope to attack. However, as the lads found out this also left more space for Accrington to break into. Two more goals quickly followed with swift counter attacks from Accrington’s midfield. Many teams, with the score as it was, would have let their heads drop but the young Magpies kept plugging away and they finally got their rewards when after winning a series of free kicks, on the edge of Accrington’s penalty area, Taylor Brickell curled one that clipped the edge of the wall and sailed into the back of the net.

This gave the lads a boost and they kept plugging away trying to create chances, but the Accrington back line was solid and every time Chorley started an attack it was swiftly cut out and in a lot of case it instantly created counter attacks. This lead to 2 more Accy goals before the final whistle blew and meant the League 2 sides academy ran out comprehensive 9-1 winners. 

Our young lads can hold their heads up high though as they never gave up and never let their heads go down. Their attitude was faultless throughout the match and they can be proud of the way they handled themselves in defeat. We must remember that this side has only been together for such a short space of time and they were beaten by a professional set-up that have been together for a number of years. 

After the match manager Declan Williams said

“At the beginning of this season the lads lost 8-0 against a team in their own league, 5 months later they are winning 7 on the bounce against the same teams. Tonight we played an academy side with players potentially playing professional football in coming years. They performed positively against a good set up”

“I have every faith the lads with develop and learn from this, losing is a bitter pill to swallow but we have to be humble in victory and defeat”

Chorley’s U16’s return to training tonight in their first evening of sprint training at Robin Park in Wigan and after the half-term break their next scheduled match is on 24th February away at Pro-Elite Academy in Bradford.

U16s MATCH REPORT | Boys in Seventh Heaven After Yet Another Win

Twenty four hours after their last match the U16’s were back in action against Stoke RTC down at Keele University. It was the second time the two sides had met in a week and with the last match ending 2-1 to Chorley we knew todays match would be close; what we didn’t expect was the match we got. This match had everything. Nine goals, crunching tackles, great saves, red cards, goal line clearances and more. 

The match started frantically. Stoke went immediately onto the front foot, you could tell that they were up for getting even after last weeks match. Four minutes in and they were nearly one up. A poor headed back pass by Finley Wade was intercepted by the Stoke striker and he managed to get his shot off before Liam Doyle could get to it. The ball hit the base of the far post and bounced back to the striker on the penalty spot. His 1st time shot was goal bound only for Ben Larnach to come out of nowhere to clear it off the line. 

Stoke continued to press and but for some last ditch tackles and a couple of superb saves by Doyle they would have been further ahead. Chorley’s first attempt on goal came from a Stoke attack. On 11 minutes Larnach blocked a shot inside the penalty area and with no clear options on he brought the ball calmly out of defence in the right back area. He then picked out a 50 yard pass onto the toe end of Taylor Brickell on the edge of the Stoke box, and going for power was unlucky to hit his shot over the bar. From the resulting goal kick however, Stoke won a free kick on the edge of the Chorley penalty area. The ball in wasn’t cleared and Stoke were 1 up. 

At this point Chorley were certainly feeling their legs and yesterdays match looked like it was taking toll and not long after Stoke went 2-0 in front. Chorley lost possession deep in their own half and when the cross was whipped in the ball was unfortunately turned into his own net by Wade. The young Magpies switched to a back 3, at this point, to try and plug the gaps that were appearing but the rest of the 1st half was one-way traffic and Stoke will have felt as though they could have gone into the break with a bigger lead and looking back I bet they wished they had done as this Chorley side does 2nd halves better than how Carlsberg would do them!

No sooner as the 2nd half had started then Chorley were back in the match. A ball played through from midfield was picked up by Brickell on the edge of the box and his shot found the top right hand corner. If that was a quick goal after the restart then Stoke went one better. Just seconds after getting the game back underway they were on the edge of Chorley’s box and the shot was curled in on off the post and the match was back to a 2 goal difference. 

The next 20 minutes saw both sides trying to dominate the ball and possession and with some juicy tackles flying in both sides were fighting hard to get on top. All of a sudden the tired Chorley legs had disappeared and they were growing stronger by the minute. With 18 minutes left Chorley threw a big upper cut and Stoke were wobbling. Brickell, not for the first time this season went on a run from the halfway line and then played a lovely little ball through to Sam Mutton on the edge of the box. One touch and the shot passed the keeper and into the net. 

Within seconds it should have been all square. Brickell did the same thing as seconds earlier but this time the ball fell to Brandon Wilson on the edge of the box and leaning back he blazed his shot over the bar. Within 5 minutes though Chorley were on level terms. The ball found Sean Elliot in acres of space in the middle of Stokes half and with their defenders backing off he launched a shot from all of 25 yards into the top corner, 3-3. 

At this point Chorley really were starting to struggle physically. They had already lost a couple of players to injury during the match and when Jack Hughes was carried off with what looked like a bad knee injury a hobbling Ben Larnach had to come back on (good job for rolling subs!). This injury seemed to make Chorley lose concentration as from Stokes next corner their big centre forward was left unmarked and he hit a bullet header passed Doyle to put them back in front. Surely Chorley were finished now, there was only a few minutes left, but no. 

Just a minute later Ben Larnach picked out a superb pass right the way through the heart of the Stoke team and Brickell was on the end of it to hammer a shot passed the dive of the Stoke keeper and into the net, 4-4!

And then to top it all off, again just a minute or 2 later, Kian Dewhurst picked the ball up 30 yards out from goal wide on the left and spotting the keeper a fraction off his line his powerful, dipping shot flew over the keeper and into the net! For the first time in the match Chorley were ahead. Cue pandemonium!! 

Stokes players were rattled and with only a few seconds left on the clock, after a series of meaty challenges, Stokes #18 was sent off for an off the ball incident. With that the referee blew for full time and somehow Chorley had won this match. 

That’s now 7 wins in a row for the young Magpies and they are unbeaten since the end of November last year. To come back from being almost dead and buried at 3-1 down shows that these boys have the mental toughness to go with the skill and ability that they have in abundance. The 5 weeks working with Lee Blundell at his boxing gym in Wigan on fitness and endurance had certainly paid off! 

After the match an ecstatic Declan Williams said  “I am absolutely blown away by the result, tactically we were out of the game! Our lads showed courage and heart that I’ve never seen in 8 years of coaching youth sides, they turned the game around and showed me a hunger for victory”

“We have a tough game ahead of us on Tuesday, we are going to bypass training Monday and have a social training session to help those lads injured recover for Tuesday’s game, 7 on the bounce ain’t to bad!”

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