AFC TELFORD UNITED
Goals from Jack Sampson and Andy Teague secured another three points to maintain The Magpies promotion aspirations.
Prior to kick-off there were moments of celebration and contemplation as it was first announced that The Chorley Group will be extending their sponsorship deal with the club for another season, while a minute’s applause was held for Alex Blakeman, father out midfielder Adam, who passed away on the morning of our home game against Alfreton Town two weeks ago.
When the game got underway it was one-way traffic with Telford rarely passing the half-way line.
Adam Blakeman drilled an early effort wide while Dale Whitham saw a half volley attempt cleared.
Whitham nearly opening the scoring on seven minutes when a free-kick evaded everyone as it drifted into the box, but bobbled just wide of the far post.
Visiting on loan keeper, Callum Burton, a club mate of ex-Magpie Shaun Rowley at Shrewsbury Town, was by far the busier number one and saved well from a wickedly whipped in Matt Challoner cross then threw his body at a Marcus Carver close range shot after a determined run for the Chorley striker. However, he was helpless to stop a Carver effort, but the ball smash into the post to spare Burton’s blushes.
Jake Cottrell shot wide then Whitham hammered a fierce shot which Burton acrobatically pushed wide.
The breakthrough came on 28 minutes from an untypical Chorley corner; rather than an elaborate sent piece, Whitham delivered the ball into the box and Sampson was on hand to guide the ball through Burton’s legs and into the goal from close range.
Chorley then had a clear call for a penalty ignored when Paul Jarvis was pulled down in the box.
The visitors then appeared to wake up and join the game with an effort following a corner well blocked then Ritchie Branagan was full stretch to keep out a shot.
Six minutes before the break Telford levelled, and what a goal it was. Challoner should have done better with a headed clearance that fell kindly to Josh Wilson, and from 20 yards out the former Fylde striker hit an unstoppable thunderbolt beyond Branagan.
Magpies heads didn’t drop after conceded and Jarvis was unlucky to see a header cannon back off same post Carver hit earlier moments before the break.
When the game restarted, it was more Chorley pressure with Jarvis skying an early opening but it wasn’t long before the lead was regained. Blakeman delivered a perfect set piece onto the head of captain Andy Teague who placed a bullet header beyond Burton.
Branagan punched clear a Telford cross as the visitors started to find their second half feet, with the Shropshire club enjoying a string of corners, but none troubling the Magpies back line.
Jason Walker was introduced for Carver on the hour mark and after a quite spell the former Barrow marksman should have done better with ball from Jarvis, who had jinked past two defenders on the bye-line to tee-up the striker, but Walkers side footed effort flew high and wide.
Into the last minute and Branagan had to be at his best, pulling off a superb save then punching clear the following corner to secure a crucial victory on a day when ALL the top seven sides picked up maximum points.
Starting XI: Ritchie Branagan, Matt Challoner, Paul Jarvis, Andy Teague, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Adam Blakeman, Dale Whitham, Marcus Carver, Jack Sampson, Jake Cottrell
Subs: Jason Walker (Carver, 60), Josh O’Keefe, Robbie McDaid, Will Beesley, Adam Roscoe
Goals: JACK SAMPSON (28), Josh Wilson (39), ANDY TEAGUE (50)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Dale Whitham, everything flowed through Dale today