Chorley 13 Droylsden 1
Chorley served up a once-in-a-lifetime goal-feast for a crowd of 849 in recording their biggest victory since 1946.
This top-versus-bottom contest was effectively over almost as soon as it began, with relegated Droylsden buried under an avalanche of early goals.
The eager Magpies were three up in seven minutes and five ahead in 12 as the beleaguered visitors struggled in vain to stem the tide. Commendable as was the Bloods’ intention to attack, their defensive cover was fragile, inviting Chorley to wreak havoc in acres of space.
Jack Dorney’s calm close-range finish opened the floodgates on two minutes and then Josh Hine fired a glorious cross-shot beyond keeper Oliver Martin before Droylsden contributed the first of two own-goals, a gentle back-pass from Ben Heneghan bobbling past an embarrassed Martin’s swinging boot. On-loan full-back Max Cartwright enhanced his growing reputation with a sublime free-kick in the ninth minute before Bloods’ skipper Ged Murphy sliced an attempted clearance into his own net to gift the home side a fifth.
A period of respite for Droylsden was ended in the 37th minute when Dale Whitham crashed home Hine’s inviting cut-back and the home fans were in seventh heaven just before half-time.
Cartwright’s lofted through-ball released James Dean who beat the stranded Martin with a measured lob. The mayhem continued after the break, Darren Stephenson (49 minutes) neatly heading in from a corner.
Three minutes later a penalty for handball in the jaws of goal was emphatically dispatched by Dean to make it nine but the visitors unexpectedly hit back almost at once, Sam Madeley’s quickly-taken free-kick from out on the right catching unemployed keeper Sam Ashton napping and out of position.
It fell to the influential Cartwright to bring up double figures for Chorley on 69 minutes, rifling home a loose ball following a corner and three goals in the last eight minutes completed the rout.
Dorney capitalised on defensive disarray to stroke the ball into an empty net, then Dean completed his hat-trick before Whitham fired in the thirteenth from Chris Almond’s unselfish assist.
It was from start to finish simply a Chorley cakewalk which should leave the team in great heart for the potentially crucial shoot-out against FC United at Bury’s Gigg Lane tomorrow evening.