Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Josh Vosper
The Magpies ended the year on a high securing a gutsy 1-0 victory at strugglers Curzon Ashton.
Luke Wall replaced Louis Khoury in The Nash’s only change from their Boxing Day derby defeat to Ashton United.
The Magpies made two changes to the side that won at FC United on Boxing Day with Courtney Meppen-Walter & Jake Cottrell starting. Louis Almond returned to the bench.
Curzon Ashton: Mason; Morton, McJannett, Hunt (c), Shaw, Racchi (Shenton, 77′) Guest, Rowney, Brooke, Fawns, Wall (Crankshaw, 80′). Subs not used: Khoury, Muir, Dickin.
Chorley: McMillan; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Baines, Meppen-Walter, Cottrell, O’Keefe, Carver (Hooper, 90’+4), Wilson (A.Newby, 71′), E.Newby. Subs not used: Almond, Lee, Eccles.
Elliot Newby had the games first real chance, curling just wide from long range after neat interplay between Josh Wilson & Adam Blakeman. Elliot was involved again on 12 minutes when the visitors took the lead. Wilson found the midfielder down the right and Chorley’s number 11 cut inside before producing an inch-perfect cross to find the head of Marcus Carver.
The hosts responded through Mason Fawns, who hit the post with a delightful free kick from 25 yards, before The Magpies hit the woodwork themselves through a Josh O’Keefe header.
Carver had the ball in the net for a second time, but it was ruled offside, and Wilson forced Cameron Mason into a smart save from a Blakeman corner as Chorley went looking for a second.
Luke Wall hit the same post as Fawns just before the break as Curzon started to threaten, but The Magpies held firm into half time.
A slow start to the second half gave way to a good chance for Elliot, but his connection on Challoner’s cross was too true and the ball flew over the bar.
Another Elliot effort from outside the box just missed the far post, but in truth, chances were few and far between in the first 20 minutes. The game then dragged through another 20 minutes of very little action, aside a poor challenge on Carver that saw Racchi yellow carded.
Sub Alex Newby could have settled the game with five minutes left, but after being released by brother Elliot, the forward was thwarted by Mason in the home goal.
That’s what he said
HT 0-1 / FT 0-1
Goals: Carver (12′)
Cautions: Racchi (77′)
Referee: Nathan Cox
Assistants: Karl Buckley & Richard Abson
Weather: Mild & breezy
The return game with FC United on New Year’s Day at Victory Park (3pm). Admission is pay-on-the-gate: £12 adults, £9 concessions, £7 students, £5 12-16s & FREE accompanied under-12s.