Sunday, 11 October 2015

10.10.15 - FA Cup 3rd Qualifying round - Chorley (h)

The day had arrived and the Bay Facebook and Twitter feeds had made sure we knew about it with a daily countdown. The outrageous price of £8 had been paid and I was pleased to see that there was a decent crowd already in the ground, expectantly waiting for the big game....and I had even arrived half an hour early!
The Boy Mark arrived early too but the first worrying sign was the relative sizes of the Chorley players...compared to our Bay maestros, these were giants.
The giants of Chorley....

...and the giant-hearted of Whitley.
The game was only four minutes old when a Chorley header was cleared off the Bay goal line with Jennison beaten. This prompted Neil to comment:
"That's not a good start..." and so it proved as Chorley pushed the home team back. However there were signs of a home revival as Kempster and Kris Hughes starting getting joy down the wings through their trickery and determination. 
Hughes finds space...
Suddenly, Shanks was clear of the colossus' in the visiting defending with only the keeper to beat. The Shankster perfectly lobbed him from 25 yards out and the Bay were 1-0 up. Game of the season? I think there will more to follow from the youngster.
1-0 to the Mighty Bay!
This got one of the former Bellend Choir regulars, who hadn't been seen for a while at Hillheads (we'd have heard him), into a screaming solo of "Whitley Road, take me home..." One of the old faithful tunes!
Bob and the Boy Mark go crazy mental mad!

The paparazzi were there!
Laptop, dongle and everything!
This annoyed Chorley and just after the half hour mark Jennison had to be on his mettle to brilliantly fingertip away a header that seemed bound for his top left hand corner. The Bay were showing their giants...their colossus' a real fight. Andy 'the bus' Jennison (or 'the wall'  - not sure which sounds best) was up for it today. Could the impossible happen?
There was bad news for Super Skipper Reidy as he went down and despite trying to carry on had to be substituted. Dillon Blake came on in his place. 
Chorley were gaining more control of the game but Blakey burst forward and was bearing down on the keeper. His shot was saved by the legs of Ashton in the visiting goal and despite falling to Bay feet, they just couldn't find the target.
Into the second half and the onslaught continued. The Shankster was getting no joy as the two monsters at the heart of the Chorley defence showed all their experience to block his path with their titanic frames. Then three minutes into the second half, the visitors laid siege to the Bay goal and after two shots had been blocked by last ditch defending, the third was squeezed in.
There were still moments for the Bay and the Kempstervator burst through on goal but Kieran Charnock (titan no 5 for the visitors) clipped his heals as he pulled away. The ref bottled the red card, much to the annoyance of the majority of the 782 crowd. Bay fan, code-named Mr Angrypants, behind the visiting goal, showed his disgust for the decision more vociferously than the rest of us...but then he was an expert at being angry at home games.
Angrypants was even angrier soon after when Chorley broke after sustained Bay pressure and ended up with a breakaway goal. A long ball across the field ended up with a cross and a header. 
Bay pile on the pressure...
Just when the visitors looked to be closing down the game, Shankster popped up at the far post to head in the equaliser! the Bay were level. Even Angrypants was happy! 

Shankster - goal number two! Ta muchly!

We began to believe again and so did the players. Number 5 for Chorley was becoming public enemy number 1 - now nicknamed "Cuddles" because of his tendency to put his arms around the home forwards.  
Still the Bay press....
Unfortunately on another breakaway, another shot was stopped only for the ball to pop up in front of another Chorley forward who just managed to tip it in past the grounded Jennison. The feeling of disappointment even got to Moira who told a small kid to stop banging on the advertising boards because it was giving her a headache!
Chorley had been a strong team but the boys had done us proud and certainly given their visitors from 3 leagues above a real shock. Paddy's boys had kept going to the end and it was nice to see Ashton applauding the home fans who had given him grief all game.
The fans that stayed behind warmly applauded both teams off, although there were boos from the seats for the titanic visitors they still applauded the home fans all the same. David had come so close to beating Goliath!

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