Mike Cook’s first home game back as Gloucester City manager ends in defeat as Chorley claim 2-0 away win at the TigerTurf stadium, writes George Tessier.
Mike Cook’s return to The TigerTurf stadium culminated in a 2-0 victory for Chorley, thanks to two first half goals from Andy Preece’s side.
Cook made two changes from the side which drew 1-1 away to Darlington last weekend as Harry Emmett and Elliot Durrell made way for Jamie Reckord and Harry Williams.
Goals from Jack Sampson and Justin Johnson spoiled Cook’s first home game back as the Lancashire based side ran out comfortable winners on the day.
It had been 1435 days since the last time Cook took charge of a game in front of a City home game, that being a 2-2 draw to Curzon Ashton back in November 2019.
The game was rather even in the opening stages, with Chorley having a fair bit of possession in the opening 15 minutes.
City started to grow into the game as the first half went on, Harry Williams and Joe Parker in particular picking up some good positions but couldn’t find the breakthrough.
The first clear cut chance of the first 45 fell to Chorley’s Jack Hazlehurst as the ball fell to him at the back post from a corner, but he blasted his left footed effort over the bar from 12 yards out.
A brilliant acrobatic save from City goalkeeper Zach Jeacox denied The Magpies an opener as Scott Wilson struck the ball on the edge of the box first time.
The Magpies wouldn’t have to wait too much longer for the opener as some quick feet from Johnson gave him time to put in a cross to the far post, which Scott Wilson headed back across goal and allowed Jack Sampson to bundle the ball over to give the visitors the lead.
There were only four minutes between the two goals as Preece’s side doubled their advantage thanks to an incredible effort from Johnson as the pacey winger received the ball on the left flank, cut inside and curled a stupendous effort off the post and past Jeacox in the City net.
The second half was a lot more quiet as Cook’s side looked for a way back into the game, Elliot Durrell impressed for the home side after coming on for Brandon Smalley shortly after half time.
Durrell got on the end of a corner which he flicked onto the back post which narrowly drifted wide as no City player was present to slot the ball home.
Parker came close midway through the second 45 forcing a brilliant save from Magpies keeper Matt Urwin, but the ensuing corner amounted to nothing.
Preece’s side had a few more half chances as the game winded down, but Jeacox stood firm to keep the deficit at 2-0.
Cook’s side will travel north next weekend as they take on Southport away from home, City remain 21st in the National League North following another defeat.