Points shared as Holker grab late equaliser.
MATCHDAY 10 v HOLKER OB FC
After we were all disappointed with the result of the New Mills game's result on our return to ArkFleetech Andrew St night with a draw, Chaddy were looking to put 3 points on the board vs Holker Old Boys
No chance of an Indian Summer in the North-West, and nonstop heavy rain made the new surface very greasy and wet, although no doubt it's good for the grass !
night we fell to an early sucker punch when New Mills scored after only a few minutes. This time there was no chance of that happening, and it was us out of the blocks like an Olympic sprinter, with most of us still settling down when Chaddy went ahead on only 3 minutes when neat 1-2 play between Luke Heron and Leon Iluobe, saw LEON ILUOBE slot the ball home, a really well worked goal and reward for what was a lovely build-up,typical of the football we're playing. Chadderton almost doubled the lead 2 minutes later when Vinny Howell had a goal bound effort cleared off the line. As is all too familiar we seem to be at our most vulnerable when we are ahead, and so it was, Holker hitting back with a well worked goal down our left and a nice finish in the top corner past Mike Smith by Robbie Wallace , 1-1 after 5 minutes. There followed a good period of pressure from us, seeing Leon go clear and shot over, followed by a cheeky back flick shot from Vinny Howell which looped over the bar. Vinny Howell put in a lovely cross only for Luke Heron to connect and poke a shot just wide of the upright. On 23 minutes again the Holker keeper was called into action, saving well from Leon Iluobe. Next to have a chance was the impressive Chris Pauley who, from the left, chipped a shot just over the bar. Chaddy continued to play some good football despite the conditions, with Dom Welsby and Aaron Holton again impressive in the heart of the Chadderton midfield. On 41 minutes Dale Minor and Leon Iluobe exchanged a 1-2 but Dale's shot was saved. Chaddy survived a scare on 44 minutes when a Holker break led to them beating captain Mike Smith but the unflappable James Dwyer was there to clear off the line. HT 1-1
The second half began saw Chaddy almost go in front when Luke Heron shot just wide of the Holker keeper's left hand post. There then followed a good period by Holker, who certainly were determined to fight and not give up on the game and they saw a bit more of the ball for a short time. Mike Smith, the Chaddy captain was called on several times to make saves, the best being from a deflected shot and he reacted brilliantly to turn it away for a corner. On 63 minutes, Chaddy finally got the breakthrough in front of goal they'd been threatening. Good work on the left by Chris Pauley saw him cross and LEON ILUOBE scored with a looping header 2-1. More Chaddy attacks followed as we tried to put some daylight between ourselves and the visitors, Dom Welsby firing a shot in on 68 minutes and Vinny Howell making a beautiful slide rule pass, but no-one could take advantage of it.
Chaddy were still in control of the match, Holker after a short purple patch didn't really look like getting back into the match. Tank made a couple of substitutions, Andy Bainbridge going off to be replaced by Nathan Chorlton, Vinny Howell changed for Devon Matthews.
82 minutes saw a great run on the left by Leon Iluobe, but he ran himself into a dead end and lost the ball and the danger went. On 85 minutes, disaster struck, a mistake on our left gave Holker possession and the chance to come at us on the break, they raced away and Nathan McHugh slotted the ball past Mike Smith for an equaliser that had never seemed on the cards.
We piled the pressure on now, in search of a winner again and substitute Nathan Quinlan fired a fantastic shot just over on 90 minutes.
The whistle blew, and once again having totally dominated a game of football, we came away bitterly disappointed. Our approach play and football is as good as any team in the division, and the effort from the players can't be questioned. The Chadderton forward line certainly missed the energy of Mike Moss and the direct runs of Craig Schumann yesterday, and the conditions didn't help us at all. Leon Iluobe and Luke Heron played very well, but we seemed to just need a bit more presence up front at times to put these games we are dominating to bed. 2-1 against a determined opponent on a wet surface is always dangerous, as mistakes can happen, as was proved.Credit to our opponents yesterday, Holker OB who never laid down and kept going to try and get something from a game that should have been beyond them in all honesty. We also need a little bit of that magic ingredient in football - luck, all teams need it during a season, and we've not had much at all so far this season, let's hope that changes soon for Tank and the squad. We look forward to Grant Marshall coming back, as well as Tom Hughes, Jordan Anderson, Craig Schumann and Gaz Hill - who were all missing . We are clearly a hard team to beat, and we lie only 5 points off the play-offs, unbeaten in 4 league games, only beaten 3 times in 8 away games, so let's keep our perspective and belief as we head down the M62 to St Helens next, let's get those 3 points. Come on Chaddy !
Att : 88 - bettered only by Whitchurch Alport on an awful day.
The other Mark.