Chorley 2-1 Bradford (Park Avenue)

Bradford (Park Avenue) slipped into the relegation zone thanks to a Boxing Day defeat at the hands of Chorley.

Chib Chilaka’s first half goal meant Avenue led at the break, but two second half strikes from Josh Hine sent the visitors home with nothing.

Avenue made 3 changes to the starting line up from last time out, Jamie Price, Lamin Colley and Paul Walker dropping out, to be replaced by Niall Heaton, Billy Priestley and Sam Patterson, the latter for his full league debut.

The game began in exciting fashion, both teams attacking well, Chorley gaining a few corners and forcing Avenue stopper John Danby into a string of fine saves.

On one particular attack, the dangerous Joe Colbeck drove forward and into the box, and as he cut back he went down under a challenge. The referee blew and came charging in and booked Colbeck for diving- his second caution of the season to be awarded for simulation.

After some more Danby heroics to deny James Dean, Avenue had another penalty shout.

Danny Frost burst into the box and beat the keeper but as his shot/cross trickled along the goal-line it was hooked out by a piece of good defending. As Joe Colbeck tried to cross back in, his ball seemingly hit a raised arm, but the referee waved it away.

Avenue did manage to take the lead on 23 minutes through Chib Chilaka. A free-kick came in from Jack Rea, flicked on by Billy Priestley and Chilaka hooked the ball over Aaron Grundy in the Chorley goal.

Danby made another great save to deny Dale Whitham and Danny Frost hit a few shots wide from distance before half time.

The second half started brightly with both sides continuing to attack with intent, a scramble almost leading to an Avenue goal just 2 minutes into the half.

But Chorley started to take charge by battling harder than the visitors, and after a string of corners Chorley finally grabbed their goal through winger Josh Hine.

A good move saw Hine get in the box and as he hit a cross/shot and Priestley came sliding in, only for the deflection to wrong-foot Danby and beat him at the near post.

Avenue could have gone back in front just moments later as a Rea free kick fell to Qualter, who mis-hit his shot, almost inadvertently finding Richard Marshall in front of the goal.

Then came the turning point. Substitute Richard Marshall worked some space just inside the area, had time to finish but placed the shot just wide, possibly clipping the post on its way.

Chorley, as they had done all game, put Avenue straight on the back foot with a long ball, and grabbed what turned out to be the winner through Hine.

A long throw in came in from substitute Mark Ross, which was turned in by Hine, leaving Danby absolutely furious at his defence.

The visitors could have equalised before the end, as Marshall saw a 35 yard free kick go inches too high, and Lamin Colley had the ball for an age in the box, but his eventual shot was blocked leaving Grundy with a simple save.

Elsewhere, the two sides below Bradford both won, moving the club into the relegation zone, just one point above second-bottom Stalybridge Celtic.

Chorley: Grundy, Jacobs (Ross 75), Mather, Teague (c), Doyle, Cottrell, Hine, Whitham, Dean, Lynch (Winter 63), Jarvis (Simm 71)

Goals: Hine (65, 79)

Subs not used: Roscoe, Ashton

Bradford (Park Avenue): Danby, Patterson, Heaton, Rea, Qualter, Priestley (Igiehon 69), Colbeck (c), Howarth, Chilaka (Colley 83), Barraclough (Marshall 63), Frost

Goal: Chilaka (23)

Subs not used: Moke, Price

Referee: S. Copeland

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