A solid team performance ensured the Bulls gained victory over Kettering on Saturday. So, three wins from the last four matches played and remarkably the Bulls are back in the mix. With Chorley sitting in the final play-off place just 4 points ahead of Hereford this match could be huge.
Simon Wright looks ahead to the Tuesday night game at Victory Park.
Our last scheduled evening kick-off this season. Travel ought to be getting easier after this. You might describe this fixture as “the traditional ground derby’ Chorley moved into Victory Park just after the First World War (the name refers to the outcome of the war) and thus have performed there for over a century. The main stand is a proper veteran, dating back to 1947 and is showing its age with some sections shut off.
Admission is the standard £15 adults to sit or stand with concessions at £12 (which start at 60). Or if you have the inclination, there is hospitality in the Paul Mariner sports bar for £35 which includes a 2-course meal, admission and half-time refreshments. If you’ve not been before, parking is a headache. Club suggestions are to find street parking if you can or use the small park off Pilling Lane at £3 a time.
The highly-rated local delicacy known as the butter pie is on sale here. A savoury pie mainly consisting of onions and potatoes. Its unique to the Chorley/Preston area and is sometimes called a Catholic pie or a Friday pie.
The Chorley Supporters Trust own just under 10% of the club and claim to have two directors on the club board, though they are not listed in the club accounts. Interestingly, Trust members meet every month at the ground and can ask questions of club staff. The answers are published on their website.
Chorley are not a wealthy club and were hugely grateful for their recent FA Cup run to the Third round. The income did wonderful things to their overdraft reducing it from £412k to £70k in 2021. They know ground improvements are needed but they lack the finance and they feel the local authority who own the ground aren’t being very supportive.
The Magpies started the season unbeaten at home but not so impressive on the road. I still feel vexed that Hereford conceded that late injury-time equaliser at Edgar Street when they were clearly dominant against Chorley. It’s all conjecture now but if the Bulls had kept all 3 points, maybe the future might have been different. We’ll never know.
Their home record – 5th best in the division – does show only 3 defeats in first 18 games though there are seven draws included. Their defence is impressive with only 15 goals conceded at home. Only two clubs can top that. Their strong record has kept them in the play-offs for months, keeping their nose ahead of Kiddy Harriers who have the 23rd worst home record. Chorley beating Kiddy the same night we turned on the style at Fylde which helped their cause further. The Pies may have the 5th best home record but equally Hereford have the 7th best record on the road so nothing to fear.
Club top scorer by a margin is striker Connor Hall with 21 goals in 41 games. Hall’s been consistent for 2 or 3 years now since joining in 2020 so the Pies must be pleased to still retain his services. Connor is only 24 and played 13 times in League One with Accrington. His younger brother Lewis is with Chelsea and has played 5 times in the Premier League. Expect a battling encounter. The Pies are a pretty determined bunch with 6 dismissals this season.
Hereford are played 2, lost 2 at Victory Park so a Victory at Victory Park is overdue.
Tickets are available from the Chorley online ticket office here or you can pay on the gate – £15 Adults | £12 65+/Concessions | £7 17-20s | £5 12-16s | FREE Accompanied u12s
A win here would be massive. We hope to see additional supporters can make the trip to join the die-hards and some north-west exiles.
Come on you Bulls! See you there.