Harwood still looking for first point despite brave show


HARWOOD are still looking for their first point in the Deansgate Press Lancashire Floodlit Cup competition after falling to defeat in their first home clash, despite putting up a brave fight against Multipart League side Chorley.

In very windy conditions, Harwood came back from a goal down at the interval to grab a 2-1 advantage but ended up falling to defeat by a scoreline that somewhat flattered the Victory Park outfit.

Harwood showed plenty of character, throughout most of the match and despite the result, their form showed an improvement on that displayed in their recent disappointing run of league results.

They had a couple of outstanding chances to take the lead-a shot from Brian Foy which went wide and an attempt by Mark Bennett which ended up over the bar after he had been in the clear with only the ‘keeper to beat-before Chorley took the lead five minutes before the interval.

It came from the penalty spot after Shaun Astin-like Foy making a comeback to the side after injury-brought down Dave Liptrott and Mark Edwards made no mistake from the spot.

Three minutes after the re-start, Eric Geldard equalised, beating advancing ‘keeper Ian Senior from 12 yards and in the 64 th minute, Harwood took the lead when Bennett scored the best goal of the game, turning in the six yard box to slam the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the net after starting off with his back to goal.

But Harwood’s lead was short-lived as four minutes later Ray Silous equalised, slotting the ball home at the near post from a left-wing corner.

A minute later, Chorley’s Paul Gardiner had the ball in the net but the effort was ruled to be offside.

Two minutes later, however, Gardiner had the ball in the net again, and this one counted, as he ran in from the right and beat the advancing Harwood ‘keeper Dave Mottershead from 15 yards.

Seven minutes after that gave Chorley a 3-2 lead, Harwood manager Malcolm Darling tried a double substitution, bringing on Harold Martin and Peter McCrae for Eric Geldard and Nigel Burton, in a bid to try and prevent Chorley taking maximum points.

But it proved to no avail as the visitors put the issue beyond doubt four minutes from time, with Edwards scoring direct from a right wing corner.

In the end, Harwood were left to rue their missed chances in the first half when they had the wind behind them, but despite the final scoreline, it was a brave show by Mr. Darling’s side, who looked at least a match for the Unibond League side until the latter stages of the second half.

Even after Chorley took a 3-2 lead, victory for them was by no means assured until Edwards blasted home that fourth goal.

Coincidently, in the Chorley side, on trial with the Multipart League outfit, was striker Martin Heneghan, who was one of the scorers in Atherton LR’s 3-0 win over Harwood in the North West Counties Second Division just four days earlier.

Great Harwood Town: Mottershead, Vercoe, Astin, Jones, P G Brown, Blackburn, Moran, Burton (sub McCrae 78 mins), Foy, Geldard (sub. Martin 78 mins), Bennett.

Chorley: Senior, Gardiner, Hughes, Lever, Silous, Butler, Liptrott, Taylor, Edwards, Heneghan, Walsh (sub. Barrow 66 mins), Sub. McLachlan (not used).

Referee: RA Hughes (Rimmington)

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©2009 J Fenton