Chorley 4-4 Middlesbrough
Chorley win 4-1 on penalties
Above: Aleesha Collins, who put in a stunning performance on her FA Cup debut, drives at the Middlesbrough defence once more. Photo: Munro Sports Photography
From Chorley Women FC
The First Round Proper of the Vitality FA Cup saw fourth-tier Chorley drawn against third-tier Middlesbrough. After last week’s defeat in the League Cup the squad were looking forward to putting things right on the pitch. Due to injury, illness, and unavailability Manager Ben Gooden had to make several changes to his squad.
Boro started the brighter of the two sides but, Chorley had the best of the chances when Collins burst through the Boro defence with only the keeper to beat but, her shot hit the side netting. Minutes later, the visitors deservedly opened the scoring on 17 minutes – Faye Dale with a great strike from 15 yards. Soon after Dale doubled her tally when a speculative low drive went through a body of players and nestled into the bottom corner.
At this point and against higher opposition Chorley could have capitulated but Manager Ben Gooden has instilled a unity and never say die attitude in this special group of players and instead, Chorley rallied and grew into the game. It was 16-year-old Aleesha Collins on her FA Cup debut who started the come back when she drove at the Boro defence beating several players before calmly putting the ball in the net.
It was Collins again who had a wonderful chance to equalize just before halftime but her touch took her wide and the Boro defence managed to recover. Chorley had not been outplayed in the first half and had created the better chances but Boro had dominated possession.
The home side came out the stronger of the two sides after the break but found themselves 1-3 down when Eve Marshall scored another well-driven shot for Boro. It wasn’t long before Chorley replied, Cleary was dragged down in the box, the ensuing penalty was saved by the Boro keeper but Collins was on hand to tap in the rebound 2-3. Chorley pressed for the equaliser and it came on 50 minutes when Collins was in the right place at the right time again to complete an FA Cup hat trick.
On 61 minutes, Dale completed her hat trick for Boro with another clinical finish and the North-Eastern side once again took the initiative in this game. However just five minutes later Collins scored her fourth goal of the game coolly putting the ball in the top corner from close range on the volley 4-4. Boro were shell-shocked. Chorley piled on the pressure but couldn’t get the winning goal and extra time loomed. Full Time 4-4.
Both teams ran themselves into the ground in the extra half-hour, Chorley having the best chance to win the game when the ball landed at Searson’s feet 5 yards out but she could only put the ball right into the keeper’s arms. FT 4-4 Penalties!
Chorley took first and Captain Laura Walker stepped up and fired high into the net 1-0
Boro then missed their first penalty 1-0
Charlotte Evans scored her penalty for Chorley 2-0
Boro scored theirs 2-1
Lisa Topping scored for Chorley 3-1
Boro miss 3-1
Who else but 16 year old Collins took the fourth penalty for Chorley and chaos ensued as her spot kick crashed into the back of the net sending Chorley into the Second Round Proper.
Collins (rightly so) stole the limelight for what was an astonishing performance but it should be noted that every single player in the squad gave everything and the supporters were immense.
On Women’s Football Weekend this was an incredible game and both teams deserve high praise.
Congratulations to Gooden and his team for reaching the Second Round and for their part in what was one of the most remarkable games this reporter has witnessed in 15 years at the Club
The Second Round Draw has seen Chorley drawn at home to fellow FA Women’s National League Division One North side Bradford City which will be played on Sunday 28th Novmber at 1pm.
Chorley are in action again this Sunday at Blainscough Park vs Morecambe Ladies, KO 2pm
CHORLEY: Emma Bradley, Isabel Catlow, Lisa Topping, Megan Searson, Katie Holt, Laura Walker, Charlotte Evans, Carra Jones, Aleesha Collins, Rachel Hindle, Rachel Wood. Subs: Ellie Cleary (46’), Katie Matthews (115’), Ellie Mills, Kerry Nickson, Emma Hickson.
Scorers: Collins (4)