`We're the famous Salford City and we're going to Wembley…
Twelve goals in the last two games Chorley had scored. Unbeaten in the league and spending big style to get promotion. But they reckoned without the mighty Salford City, unbeaten ourselves and now marching on to the next round of the FA Cup against non league giants Northwich Victoria…
Chorley might have had big expectations for this game but from the first minute they were under pressure as ex Man City youngster, Ben Beresford, just failed to connect as the ball skidded across the goal area. Ten minutes later Salford had a setback when centre half Lee Cooper went off with a nasty arm fracture but it didn't upset the rhythm of the game as the Ammies continued to pour forward at every opportunity.
The first Salford `goal' came half way through the half when Chorley's keeper, Aaron Grundy, came for a cross and dropped the ball at the feet of Steve Foster who crashed it into the net. It was no more than Salford deserved but the ref inexplicably, unbelievably, ridiculously, absurdly ruled it out for a foul. Half time: 0-0 but the clown referee should have been doing the interval entertainment
Ten minutes into the second half and Salford should have taken the lead, after a blatant penalty the ref couldn't miss was awarded when Steve Foster was scythed down in the box by the Chorley number 6. As the pair were getting to their feet the Chorley chopper seemed to punch Foster in the face but was only given a yellow card. In the event, Chorley escaped further when Foster's penalty was saved by Grundy. But five minutes later, the calamity keeper carried a Matty Cross free kick, swung from the right, over his line to give Salford a 1-0 lead.
The Ammies were looking good for the next round but with half an hour to go, Chorley's star player, Jack Dorney, crashed in the equaliser from the edge of the area. 1-1
The advantage swung back to Salford straight away when the Chorley left back, Andy Russell was sent off for his second yellow card, following a challenge on Ben Beresford. Chorley were down to ten men but it made little difference as they only seemed to have two men from the kick off – Sheldon Payne in attack and the excellent bandaged Basil Fawlty-a-like Mark Ross at the back.
In contrast, every Salford City player buzzed around the pitch, with man of the match Gareth Thomas blocking everything and setting everything up from the middle. And just as it looked like Chorley would hang on for the replay, in the last minute Dean Cooper crossed for Rhodri Giggs to gloriously arrow in the winner…
A fantastic result, richly deserved and Salford go marching on to the next round of the FA Cup, at home against unbeaten Northwich Victoria on 11th September.
Only another zillion games and Salford City will be in the 3rd Round proper of the FA Cup… Meanwhile, in the league, it's Clitheroe at home on Bank Holiday Monday 30th August 3pm kick off.
Photos by Mikey K and Anya K