It was a series of shaking head moments as Chorley left Bower Fold with a win after a late goal and two red cards, one of which at best can be described as dubious. Other mystifying decisions littered the game.
These decisions started from the off when it appeared that Jack Higgins had pushed Marcus Carver in the box, but the foul was waved the penalty appeals away. Celtic looked all over the place at the start of the match, constantly giving the ball away, inviting pressure from the visitors, which they took grateful advantage of, Jake Cotterell and Josh Hine both off target and Andy Teague heading wide from a set-piece. Cotterell tested Tony McMillan twice, but neither effort was particularly troubling for the Celtic keeper.
Things were not so simple for Sam Ashton at the other end, with two fine saves from Chris Simm when he gained a yard on Teague, before a cracking shot from Adam Farrell that Ashton could only palm away.
After not getting a penalty earlier, Chorley got one later when Carver was brought down by Higgins. Carver took the penalty himself, and Tony McMillan pulled off a cracking save, the defence reacting quickly to deny Chorley any sniff of goal with some good defending, Josh Hineís angled drive eventually put around the post.
It went from bad to worse when Teague and Simm both jumped for a high clearance from the Chorley back line, Simm leading with his elbow and Teague coming off second best, after both players had received treatment, Simm was dismissed.
Chorley continued to press, but looked unconvincing in front of goal, allowing Celtic to reach the interval without going behind, although the loss of Danny Wisdom just before the half time whistle to a recurrence of his groin strain was going to require more reorganising.
The second half saw a re-organised Celtic line up, Ben McKenna and Adam Farrell leading the line, the latter setting the former up for a chance, with Ashton well off his line, McKenna tried to react quickly but fired over the bar. A player advantage, Chorley always would have the upper hand, and Marcus Carver used the space to fire in a shot, but it wasnít a testing effort.
When Farrell slid in to take the ball from Jaake Cotterill, the man in black saw something nobody else did, and dismissed Farrell immediately. As in the Celtic game away at Stockport, it was nine v eleven, though this time, the nine were Celticís. Once again, Liam Watson was required to show his pedigree, and immediately reorganised the team, putting McKenna up on his own.
Celtic were immediately put under more pressure, but the back four were immense, with Dale Wright and Bohan Dixon doing a good job in front of them, keeping Chorley at bay fairly easily, and even creating chances of their own, with Dixon unleashing a dipping effort that Ashton had to be on his toes for. Chorley got a series of corners, but could not get past a well marshalled Celtic defence.
Chorley got a goal with less than ten minutes to go, a zig zag move that culminated with Andy Bondís ball to Josh Hine who cut in onto the ball and smashed it home.
And when Celtic looked to be about to get a goal back moments later, Aaron Chalmers and Peter Wylie had the ball at the edge of the Chorley box, Steve Tames and Teague were in the box, Chalmers and Wylie just had Kieran Charnock to get past, it looked like a great chance. Until an altercation between Tames and Teague, with a foul by Teague on Tames inside the box caused the referee to stop Celticís three on two attack to deal with Teague, the result of which was nothing. It took Sam Ashton, the Chorley keeper attracting the refereeís attention after Peter Wylie had been left in a lot of pain just outside his box to allow Wylie treatment. He had to be stretchered from the pitch, and when asked by Watson how the referee missed it, Watson was dismissed too.
All in all, a bad day at the office.
|3||Dodd, Adam||> 78|
|6||Cotterell, Jake||> 58|
|11||Guy, Lewis||> 59|
|12||Dean, James||< 58|
|14||Stephenson, Darren||< 59|
|16||Sheridan, Sam||< 78|