Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
Marcus Carver hit a goal in each half to send The Magpies seven points clear at the top with only six games to play.
One change for The Magpies as Josh O’Keefe returned from suspension to replace Alex Newby.
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman (Almond, 83′), Teague (c), Leather, Meppen-Walter, O’Keefe, Cottrell, Carver (McGurk, 83′), Wilson, E.Newby. Subs not used: Jordan, Anson, Eccles.
Leamington: Breeden (c); Mace, Lane, Clarke, Hood, Edwards, Murphy (Obeng, 71′), Flanagan, Bishop, Wilding (Gittings, 71′), Hodge (Parker, 79′). Subs not used: Taylor, Newey.
The game took a while to warm up as both sides struggled to create any openings. Chorley built a bit of pressure against a well-drilled Leamington side, which allowed Adam Blakeman to eek out a chance that flew just over the bar. Marcus Carver and Elliot Newby also had half-openings, but the visitors stood firm.
That was until centre back Jamie Hood stood on the ball while trying to shepherd the ball out for a goal kick, allowing Carver to steal in and finish with confidence to give The Magpies a deserved lead.
The only moment of worry for the home side came just before half time when Jack Lane hammered goalward from a corner, but Matt Challoner was able to clear right off the line to preserve the narrow lead.
The second half saw limited action until the final 20 minutes. Josh Wilson’s effort hit the bar via Breeden’s hand, keeping Leamington in the tie. But minutes later the Brakes number one could do nothing with Carver’s lob as the forward bagged his 15th of the season following Wilson’s flick-on.
That was the game, but there was still time for sub Adam McGurk to force Breeden into a stunning stop to keep the score respectable, before fellow sub Louis Almond fired the third goal, cutting inside before finishing low beyond the ‘keeper.
Sponsors man-of-the-match: JOSH WILSON
HT 1-0 / FT 3-0
Goals: Carver (31, 78′), Almond (90’+3)
Referee: Lewis Smith
Assistants: Darren Brown & Daniel Bruce
Weather: Sunny spells
Winning 50/50 ticket: A008556
Next up: With just six games remaining on the year we travel down the road to Chester next Saturday (3pm). Admission is £15/£12 adults, £12/£10 seniors/students/job seekers/armed services, £10 18-21s, £3 5-17s & FREE under-5s. Seats on the Coach Options supporters coach are still available priced £12.50 adults & £10.50 accompanied under-16s.