BRAVE Robin Park’s bid for Lancashire Co-Operative Challenge Trophy glory ended with a heavy defeat in the semi-final of the competition last night.
In a match played at the neutral venue of the County Ground, Leyland, Chorley coasted into the final with a five-goal victory.
The Magpies, riding high in the Evo-Stik Premier Division, were simply too quick and too skilful on the ball for their Vodkat First Division titlechasing opponents, who were effectively blown away by a scintillating first-half show.
Garry Flitcroft’s men were quickly into their stride and went ahead in the eighth minute.
Livewire Matt Walwyn cut in from the left and keeper Jason Foulds did well to beat out his fierce shot.
But the ball ran loose to the edge of the penalty area from where Adam Roscoe thundered a fine shot into a gaping net.
A second goal arrived five minutes later following a teasing Tom Ince free-kick.
An initial effort was blocked, but Steve Foster was on hand to bundle the rebound in.
It was virtually all Chorley at this stage, and a delightful through ball sent Chris Denham racing clear, but Foulds spread himself well to parry his shot to safety.
But the eager Magpies were not to be denied for long as an electrifying goal put them three up on 33 minutes.
Walwyn gained possession on the halfway line and burst through before firing an unstoppable rising drive into the top corner from 35 yards. Robin Park did come more into the game as the half ended, and Dean Porter was called upon to make a decent save to turn a rising drive from Phil Howard for a corner.
The second half was something of an anti-climax, with the Magpies content to hold on to their lead.
But two incisive raids brought their goals tally to five.
On 68 minutes, Porter’s goal-kick was flicked on and substitute John Cunliffe was left a clear run on goal, and he finished with aplomb. Eight minutes from time, Walwyn sealed a man-of-the-match display, meeting Jordan Bowen’s deep cross with a firm header at the back post.