The above chant echoed round the ground in the closing minutes of yesterday’s game but this wasn’t theChelseafans celebrating victory in the West London F.A. Cup game but the Chorley fans in their home game against Stafford Rangers.
With a fallow Saturday due to Wigan’s disrespectful valuing of the F.A.Cup which resulted in the embarrassing defeat away at Swindon, myself Bar Staff and Sawdoctor of this parish ventured up the A6 to watch the Evo Stick game.
Entering Chorley’s antiquated Victory Park ground you are easily transported back to Springfield Park in the 70’s, a salutatory reminder of where we would probably still be had it not been for Dave Whelan’s patronage of his home town club.
Chorley like every other club are feeling the pinch of the economic crisis and with a relatively small catchment area with many of the locals following the local premier league clubs as well as Preston up the road they need every penny they can get to survive.
They have decided to try and attract fans from established clubs for whom travelling away is not an option by offering half price entry on producing their P.L./Football league club season ticket and judging by the large contingent of yellow tee shirt wearing Venky’s out mob ( complete with fancy dressed chicken) it appears that it is bearing fruit.
Everything about the club rings out that it is a family club, with the locals willing to engage anyone and everyone in conversation to both home and away fans happily mixing both on the terraces and in the clubhouse it was a welcome relief from the soulless segregated grounds of the bigger clubs not to mention according to Sawdoctor the best chip barms to be found inside a football ground ( although I was intrigued by the Thai pie).
The game itself was played with commitment, a fair smattering of swearing ( on the pitch not on the terraces) and no little skill. The game ended two all with four good goals, a penalty save, some superb saves from Chorley keeper and my man of the match , former Wigan Athletic keeper Russell Saunders. Tackling was hard , occasionally illegal and some of the tackles in the P.L.A would have resulted in bookings and the use of stretchers but both team’s player merely got up, dusted themselves down and got on with it, supported by the ref who was happy to keep his cards in his pockets for most of the game.
Standing on terracing gave the opportunity to move around and without the hint of any anger or threat of violence was a welcome opportunity to relive my long gone youth .
Full time brought an end to a thoroughly entertaining afternoon out and my thanks go to Sawdoctor for his leading me astray and Bar Staff for his whimsical observations throughout the game.
I will certainly be going back before the end of the season with a Thai pie in my hand and a C,C,CFC on my lips.
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