Lots to Celebrate For Chorley

Chorley Women FC Reserves 9-1 AFC Mossley

By Janet Mitchell

Above: Chorley Reserves celebrate their Cup Final win in the GMWFL Premier Division Cup Final. Photo: John Shirras.

The two teams competing in yesterday’s Greater Manchester Women’s Football League Premier Division Cup Final have played each other twice over the last few weeks, both teams winning their home fixtures so the game was nicely poised.

The match began evenly with both teams having half chances in the first few minutes. Grace Mills looking very dangerous down Chorley’s right and Mossley’s number eight looking dangerous down their left.  The deadlock was broken around the 10 minute mark, excellent footwork from Jade Foster and a deft touch from Ellie Cartwright allowed Valentine to shoot calmly past the Mossley keeper 1-0. 

Mills then went close minutes later but couldn’t convert.  It was Mossley’s turn to go close with a great drive from the left but Amelia Knowles in the Chorley goal made a fabulous diving save to the left. Mossley’s number eight was looking lively again minutes later but this time her attempt just flew over the bar. A cracking cup tie was emerging and it was end to end stuff.  However just before the drinks break Ellie Fitton scored a bullet header from a Mills corner for 2-0. 

Mossley came out firing on all cylinders and had the first chance after the drinks break, a low cross from the right this time and somehow Knowles in the Chorley goal pulled off a point blank save when it seemed the striker must score.  In the next 10 minutes, both teams had half chances, substitutions were made for both teams as the heat played a factor but it was Chorley sub Chloe Drury who made the biggest impact, a low cross from her to Mills saw her get the goal her performance deserved and Chorley went in 3-0 at the break.  A truly entertaining first half and some really good football on display from both teams.

Above: Ellie Fitton celebrates scoring one of her three goals for Chorley in the Cup Final. Photo: John Shirras.

Shortly into the second half a free kick from Mills was converted by Fitton, her second headed goal of the game and Chorley began to dominate.  Haase who had come on at half time unfortunately sustained a knee injury early in the half and was forced off the pitch. Mills again went close after she stole the ball on the half way line and let fly from 20 yards with a terrific strike that thundered against the cross bar. Shortly after another Chorley corner was headed in by Drury from close range for 5-0.

Darby, Williams & Valentine were working hard in the Chorley midfield not allowing Mossley to have as much of the ball, Abbey Smith and Hannah Derbyshire were outstanding in defence allowing Mossley very few chances. Mills scored her second of the game to make it 6-0, calmly converting after good build up play through the midfield.

Chorley made it 7-0 minutes later when Captain Fitton popped up in the penalty area to tap in her hat trick after good work from Cartwright and Shirras on the right.  Mossley to their absolute credit never gave up but Knowles was in outstanding form and stood tall in a one on one to protect Chorley’s clean sheet.

Just after the drinks break Cartwright made it 8-0 with a cool side footed finish into the corner.  Mossley kept going but Chorley remained resolute at the back with Worthington and Brooke sweeping up any danger. Williams then scored an absolute cracker from all of 25 yards to make it 9-0 before in the last moments of the game Mossley got the goal their performance and hard work deserved, a lovely finish from the right as the game finished 9-1.

A fantastic first half from both teams, the first goal of the second half was always going to be crucial and Chorley went on to dominate in the second. A thoroughly entertaining cup final with both teams playing some excellent football at times but on the day Chorley were more clinical with their chances and very much deserved their win.

It’s been a really difficult season for the Reserves in particular as the rules around Covid affected them more than the first and U18s.  Since the re-start it’s fair to say they’ve had mixed results and performances but you cannot fault the effort and performance on show today.  A special mention for manager Andy Thornhill who stepped in part way through the season and that’s never easy, the girls did him and the club proud today.

Above: Chorley U18s celebrate after sealing the Greater Manchester Women’s Football League U18s championship. Photo: @ChorleyWomenFC

The Cup win was the icing on the cake for the Club this weekend as on Saturday, Chorley U18s finished their season with their tenth win in ten games and celebrated being GMWFL U18s Champions.

The future looks bright for the Club, who from next season will have three open age women’s teams;

Chorley’s Development Team will compete in the North West Regional Division One North

Chorley Reserves will compete in the FAWNL Reserve Northern Division.

Chorley’s first team will continue to compete in the FAWNL Division 1 North

First Team Manager Ben Gooden said ‘’We feel it’s a great time to join the club, we’ve restructured in order to develop the players the best we can by providing competitive football in the right environment.  We are excited already for next season.’’

Trials for all three teams are confirmed for Sunday 20th June 2021 and Sunday 27th June 2021 at Coppull United FC, for more information please check out @ChorleyWomenFC on Twitter or get in touch with the club.

Artwork: Graphics by PW.

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