Nelson 4 Great Harwood Town 1

November 11TH 2004

Chapman stars as Blues cruise

NELSON hit top form to brush aside First Division opposition in the Lancashire F.A. Marsden Trophy at Victoria Park. Great Harwood, despite their superior league status, were made to look second best by Nelson’s young hopefuls, who played with a confidence beyond their years. Sam Hall opened the scoring with a 20 yard shot into the top corner after only six minutes as Nelson took the initiative in an open and entertaining game.
And Nelson went further ahead after 26 minutes when midfield maestro Brad Pates provided a curling cross to the far post for Neil Chapman to head home. Great Harwood had an unbelievable let-off on the half hour when both Paul Barrett and Neil Chapman struck the visitor’s crossbar with shots from inside the six-yard box. But he Robins held on and came back strongly as half time approached but without reward. After the interval, the visitors maintained their fight back and Nelson had some defending to do but coped well with Martin Brown coming out on top in his duel with Paul Mashiter. Having ridden out the storm, the Blues regained control and Kevin Richardson sparked the third goal with his long ball for Paul Fildes to chase down the left wing. And when Fildes’ cross was only half cleared from the goalmouth, Chapman blasted in an angled shot from beyond the far post to put Nelson 3-0 ahead on 70 minutes. The Blues continued to create chances and after 83 minutes Chapman became the provider with his low cross from the by-line which Hall met in front of goal only to see Bobby Harris make a point-blank save. The ball was again only half cleared and Fildes followed up with an unstoppable shot from the left of goal to stretch Nelson’s lead to 4-0. Great Harwood’s stroke of luck came too late when, on 85 minutes, Blues keeper Billy Carrington kicked the ball against John Eastham and it rebounded over him into the net to give the Robins a consolation goal. Chapman should have made it five for Nelson in the closing minutes when Carrington’s long kick sent him clear, but keeper Bobby Harris denied him with a good save.

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