Stunning Gunning sends City top
Posted on 12th October 2020 at 09:45
Gloucester City are top of the National League North. Saturday’s victory at Chorley means they have won their opening two league fixtures for the first time since 1996.
McClure’s strike gave City the lead at the break but the hosts fought their way back to equalise early in the second half, before Gavin Gunning’s superb free kick earned the Tigers all three points.
City travelled to Chorley without young goalkeeper Louie Moulden, who is on international duty, giving new signing Rhys Lovett his debut in goal, whilst Bernard Mensah made his first start of the season in an otherwise unchanged line up.
Gloucester set out their stall early on, allowing the back three of Daly, Morgan and Thomas to bring the ball out of defence and link up with Dawson and Gunning who were pulling strings in midfield. Chorley found it difficult to cope with City’s passing game and went a goal down after eleven minutes when McClure found space in the box and drilled the ball past Urwin at the near post.
Dawson should have doubled City’s lead on the half hour mark when Asante sent him clear of Chorley’s defence on the break, but he opted to pass instead of shooting and the ball was cleared.
Chorley continued to press for an equaliser and came close just before half time as Baines’s cross almost resulted in an own goal. Luckily for the Tigers the deflection off Daly only hit the crossbar.
Chorley came out from the break looking like a different side and disrupted City’s flow, forcing them to temporarily switch to a more direct style. Chorley’s determination was rewarded on 52 minutes when Cardwell beat Daly for pace on the left wing and his low cross was finished by an unmarked Newby on a late run into the box.
Debutant Lovett kept Gloucester in the game when he bravely gathered the ball at the feet of Newby to prevent him from getting a second shortly after. But City weathered the storm and when Thomas won a free kick twenty five yards out, Gavin Gunning stepped up and curled the ball exquisitely into the top corner.
City looked more settled after the goal, and the introduction of Robert helped them to retain possession. Chorley threw bodies forward and whilst they didn’t create any clear cut chances, at times Gloucester’s defence were content with just clearing their lines.
James Rowe’s men saw out the match and their extra bit of experience and quality earned a result that in previous seasons might well have been a draw or defeat.
Final score: Chorley 1-2 Gloucester City
Star Man: Gavin Gunning
Chorley: Urwin; Smith (Birch, 67′), Halls (Rodwell-Grant, 88′), Leather (c), Baines, Calveley, Cardwell (Garratt, 83′), Reilly, Newby, Shenton, Walker. Subs not used: Baxter, Dutton.
Gloucester City: Lovett; Carline, Whittle, Gunning, Daly (c), Morgan, Dawson, Thomas, Asante (Robert, 73′), McClure (Bailey-Nicholls, 87′), Mensah (O’Sullivan, 61′). Subs not used: James, Cole.
Goals: Newby (52′); McClure (11′), Gunning (66′)
Bookings: Calveley (yellow 57′); Morgan (yellow 84′)
Match report Matt Phillips
Photos Stefan Willoughby (@stefwillo)
Tagged as: Chorley v Gloucester City
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