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Over 3,000 see Evo-Stik League clash

I was privileged to be a guest at Victory Park on Saturday - home of Chorley as they entertained Chester City.

Despite the offer of FA Cup or Championship football elsewhere, I was determined not to miss this clash and I wasn't disappointed.
The fact that the game was between the top two in Evo-Stik Division One North was a draw in itself. Chorley is a real warm and friendly club - and one where we are pleased to be undertaking some sponsorship later in the season - and the game epitomizes all that is good about English football. There is no other place in the world where a game in the eighth tier of football could attract a crowd of over 3,200!
This brought its own issues for the club, with segregation in place - almost unheard of at this level usually - and a noticeable police presence.

That said the atmosphere in what is a tight stadium was fantastic.
We don't report on match results on FTD - (for the record Chester extended their lead at the top to 9 points with a 1-0 win) but we do report on good news. The attendance in its own right deserved coverage on a wider scale than seems to have happened. Not one line in any of the Sundays.
The attendance was Chorley's biggest in over 15 seasons, and may be a sign of better things to come for the once Conference side. The more telling point though is the fact that this gate was bigger than EVERY gate in the Blue Square Conference, FOUR in League 2 and even ONE – Hartlepool, in League 1.
This was not a visit of a big team in the FA Cup but genuine supporter interest from two towns whose teams are at the top of the table.
Forget the Premier League fat cats, forget wall to wall TV coverage, this is where real football lives - it was a pleasure to be there.


John Booth

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