Jordan Butterworth’s fabulous free-kick wasn’t enough to earn a result for the Reds as strikes from Callum Schorah and Jay McGrane condemned them to a disappointing home defeat. A missed penalty from Will Shawcross in the first-half will leave the players, staff and fans wondering what could have been.
After a memorable 6-1 battering of Cleater Moor Celtic last time out, David Fish’s side were hoping to gain back-to back victories as Merseyside outfit AFC Liverpool made the trip to the ARK Fleetech Stadium.
Fish gave a debut to defender Ben Matthew, recently signed on a dual-registration with Clitheroe FC, who accompanied returning centre-half partner and stand-in captain Devon Matthews at the back.
But it was a nightmare start for the pair as after a flurry of chances fell to the visitors and eventually one of them was taken.
A quickly-taken goal-kick from ‘keeper Lee Carr sent Callum Schorah away down the right. He burst into the area and fired low across Jordan Hadlow into the bottom left-hand corner.
However, like many times this season, the hosts responded positively.
Nathan Connor saw a shot cleared off-the-line just a couple of minutes after the visitor’s opener and Soman Muhammad placed the ball narrowly wide after a wonderful run and cross from Joe Richards.
Midfield powerhouse Connor went down with an ankle injury and was swiftly replaced by striker Jack Turnbull.
Just before the half-time whistle, Jordan Butterworth had a shot towards goal strike the arm of AFC Liverpool defender Chris Brady, who was stood inside the penalty area, and the referee was left no choice but to point to the spot.
Will Shawcross, on the back of receiving the YourChoice Player of the Month for October, stepped up to take the spot-kick.
He attempted to place the ball into the right-hand corner of the net but ‘keeper Carr got down well to deny him and maintain the visitor’s 1-0 lead. That was shortly followed by the half-time whistle.
Disappointingly, the Merseyside outfit began the second half in the ascendancy, with goal-scorer Schorah being denied his brace by the crossbar; minutes later, the visitor’s extended their lead.
A mistake from left-back Joe Richards allowed Jay McGrane to nip in and slot it past Hadlow, greeted by ecstatic scenes from the away bench and supporters.
Winger Muhammad was replaced by Cameron Horner in an attempt to mix up the attack and only a couple of minutes later, there was a dismissal.
Visiting attacker Andrew Lewis was shown his second yellow card of the game for a late challenge on Kyle McGovern and AFC Liverpool were reduced to ten men.
Chadderton immediately took the upper-hand and were rewarded in the 68th minute when Butterworth’s free-kick from the left looped over Carr and into the top corner, reducing the deficit to one.
Returning winger Sam Riley was brought on for Danny Cryer, with the hope that one of his deliveries would find a Chadderton head.
However, despite many deliveries into the box from both sides of the field, the AFC Liverpool defence stood strong and were first to many of the crosses swung into their area.
The frustration grew amongst the Chadderton players and in the 86th minute, Dillan O’Connor, in attempting to win the ball back, mistimed his challenge and was shown a straight red card by the referee, evening up the players from either side.
This allowed the visitors to soak up the pressure being applied by the Reds and, after 3 minutes of stoppage time, the full-time whistle was blown, condemning Chaddy to a disappointing 2-1 defeat.
Report by Ben Smithies-Casey