The Magpies maintained their superb start to the season with an excellent three-nil victory over a Blyth Spartans side that were previously unbeaten away from home.
Darren Stephenson’s ninth goal of the season was followed by a brace from new signing James Dean in a clinical performance that closed the gap on “league leaders” AFC Fylde to a single goal!
Despite losing midfielder Paul Jarvis in the pre-match warm up and having captain Andy Teague side-lined due to his injuries received on Saturday, Garry Flitcroft’s men put in an excellent performance against strong opposition in front of an excellent ‘Tuesday’ attendance of 685.
The first chance of the game fell to midfielder Dale Whitham on eight minutes, but his header from a Tom Baker corner went narrowly over Connor Grant’s goal.
Blyth, after a four hour journey down from Northumberland, were not here to make up the numbers and after a spell of pressure on Sam Ashton’s goal the Magpies keeper made a fine save to keep a whipped in free-kick out.
Dean, playing through the centre with Simon Wiles on his right and Darren Stephenson to his left, worked like a Spartan throughout and was unlucky to snatch his first chance on goal wide on 20 minutes.
Two minutes later Dean was involved again, this time battling for the ball and causing confusion in the heart of the visitors defence, give Wiles a chance, but Grant closed the Magpies winger down to make an excellent blocking save.
The ever impressive Adam Mather delivered several excellent crosses throughout the game with his best flying into the goal mouth on twenty-three minutes, but a defensive header went millimetres over Grant’s bar.
But from the resulting corner Stephenson struck. Tom Baker‘s corner kick was headed toward goal by Whitham with Stephenson acrobatically touching home from close range with two defenders stretching for the ball.
Blyth responded straight form the restart, but Aston was equal to the test, but just three minutes after the opener the second arrived.
This was a more straight forward goal with Dean’s pace and power giving him a shooting opportunity which is grabbed, and with the aid of a slight defection it was two-nil to the Magpies.
Wiles, in for the unfortunate Jarvis, was a livewire on the right wing causing the home defence numerous problems and almost added a third in the final minute of the half, but his shot was blocked on the line.
After the interval Keiran Walmsley made way for Paul O’Neiland Josh Hine replaced Wiles.
Ashton was on his toes to keep Blyth’s Daniel Maguire out in the 65th minute as the visitors upped their efforts in looking for a way back into the game.
Dean was at the heart of all Chorley’s attacks and almost played Stephenson in on 67 minutes but his ball across the goal was just a little too strong and Stephenson couldn’t convert the chance.
Back at the other end Blyth pressed and Ashton again pulled out the stop to keep Blyth at bay three times in a ten minute spell of Spartan pressure.
Flitcroft added steel to the midfield with Jamie Vermiglio replacing Baker in midfield.
The visitors continued to push with Chorley relaying on hitting on the break and this was the case a minute from time with Dean slammed home from close range from a perfect centre from Stephenson to complete an excellent win for the Magpies.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Keiran Walmsley, Adam Mather, Mark Ross, Keil O’Brien, Jake Cottrell, Simon Wiles, Tom Baker, James Dean, Darren Stephenson, Dale Whitham
Subs: Paul O’Neill (Walmsley, 54), Josh Hine (Wiles, 60), Jamie Vermiglio (Baker, 80), Adam Roscoe, Alex Meaney
Goals: DARREN STEPHENSON (24), JAMES DEAN (27, 88)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: James Dean, immense in attack – the Blyth defence knew they were in a contest!