Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
Chorley bounced back quickly from Saturday’s defeat at Southport to go six points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League North with a measured 2-0 victory against an intense Brackley Town.
Both teams were unchanged from Saturday.
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Leather, Meppen-Walter, A.Newby, O’Keefe, Carver (McGurk, 87′), Wilson (Cottrell, 73′), E.Newby (Almond, 82′). Subs not used: Hooper, Jordan.
Brackley: Lewis, Myles (Nti, 84′), G.Walker, Byrne, Hall, Dean (c), Lowe, Armson (Fairlamb, 66′), Ndlovu, Baker, A.Walker. Subs not used: Sterling-James, Jeffers, Murombedizi.
An up-tempo opening to the game saw Brackley create the first outstanding chance of the game. The tricky Matt Lowe capitalised on a loose pass by Andy Teague, strode forward and shot from 20 yards, only to see his effort hit the post via a fantastic Matt Urwin hand.
Another full stretch Urwin save was needed to thwart a flicked Connor Hall header from Glenn Walker’s teasing cross; Courtney Meppen-Walter brilliantly cleared up after the ball hit the post.
Another Brackley chance was cleared from under Urwin’s crossbar as the visitors pushed for a first half advantage, but Chorley weathered the pressure and with their first proper opening took the lead on 38 minutes.
Elliot Newby, Josh Wilson and Alex Newby were all involved in a beautifully intricate move that opened up the Brackley defence, allowing Alex to cross low for Marcus Carver to finish from close range.
The second half was very even for the first 15, but after a mistake in the Brackley defence led to a corner, Adam Blakeman’s delivery caused chaos in the box and the ref eventually gave a penalty. Blakeman stepped up to send Danny Lewis the wrong way.
Brackley tried to probe, looking for a way back into the game, but their almost relentless first half energy slowly evaporated to fumes, allowing The Magpies to see out the rest of the game with minimal fuss.
Man of the match: Alex Newby
HT 1-0 / FT 2-0
Goals: Carver (38′), Blakeman (pen, 63′)
Referee: Ben Speed
Assistants: Kieran Johnson & Luis Griffiths
Weather: Calm & drizzly
Winning 50/50 ticket: A12957
Next up: Saturday’s trip to Alfreton Town (3pm). Admission to North Street (Impact Arena) costs £14 adults, £10 over-65s/students/16-21s & £2 accompanied under-16s.