The Magpies’ unbeaten run was snapped at 15 matches after a Jake Beesley header 14 minutes from time gave Bradford (Park Avenue) the three points at a bitterly cold Horsfall Stadium.
Both teams were unchanged from their victories in the National League North & FA Cup respectively.
Bradford (PA): Drench; Ross, Lowe, Wroe, Killock (c), Havern, Spencer (Nowakowski, 86′), Branson, Beesley, Johnson (McKenna, 70′), Knight (Clee, 90’+5). Subs not used: Toulson, Hurst..
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Leather, Meppen-Walter (Wilson, 82′), A.Newby (Glynn, 66′), O’Keefe, Carver, Almonnd, E.Newby. Subs not used: Whitham, Cottrell, Anson.
The first proper chance of the game fell to Oli Johnson, whose shot from an angle was deflected over Matt Urwin’s goal after Jake Beesley had nicked the ball from Matt Challoner.
Chorley responded through Josh O’Keefe, who made Steve Drench work after creating a shooting opportunity for himself in the box. And that was about that for the first half, a Louis Almond half-chance aside. Plenty of endeavour, and numerous fouls by both teams, but little in the way of proper goalmouth action.
Within 30 seconds of the restart Chorley created the best chance of the match, but unfortunately Alex Newby headed Adam Blakeman’s left wing cross over with the goal gapping. Marcus Carver was next to go close, after brilliant interplay from Almond and Challoner set the forward up.
Lewis Knight had a sight of goal for Bradford which Urwin held with ease, as the home side enjoyed a few minutes of pressure. Oli Johnson also tested Urwin from close in after a quick break, and from the resulting corner skipper Shane Killock whistled a shot across goal.
Drench almost dropped an audacious free-kick from Alex Newby as Chorley battled back up the field. The home ‘keeper then made an excellent stop from close range after Kieran Glynn and Blakeman did brilliantly to set up Carver in the six yard box.
Then, after a controversial free-kick was given on the right, Knight’s delivery was headed home from close range by Beesley. The Magpies almost equalised straight away when Courtney Meppen-Walter’s header from a Blakeman corner was cleared off the line.
That was as close as the visitors got to preserving their unbeaten record.
That’s what he said
“The endeavour was there but we just weren’t at it today like we should have been. The run was going to end at some point, but I’m still immensely proud of how we’ve done so far” – Jamie Vermiglio
HT 0-0 /FT 1-0
Goals: Beesley (76′)
Cautions: Spencer (56′), Knight (90′); Carver (70′), Leather (75′)
Shots: Bradford 12 Chorley 11
Corners: Bradford 2 Chorley 8
Fouls: Bradford 10 Chorley 17
Referee: Paul Brown
Assistants: Sam Packer & James Bancroft
Tuesday night is Stockport County away in the National League North. Admission costs £15 adults, £10 over-65s, students & disabled people, £5 6-17s & FREE under-6s.
*Reporting by Alex Birch, Chris Park & Oran Willis