Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Stefan Willoughby
THE Magpies fell to a second straight festive defeat as promotion seeking Harrogate Town hit once in each half to claim the points at Victory Park.
An Alex Newby blocked shoot and a Warren Burrell shank from a corner aside, there was very little in the way of excitement in the opening 20 minutes.
Then, out of nothing, the visitors took the lead. A long clearance up field cleared last man Courtney Meppen-Walters allowing Jack Muldoon the chance to fire past the exposed Matt Urwin from 10 yards.
The Magpies rallied and almost equalised through Marcus Carver, but his half volley from a Martin Smith free kick was well saved by James Belshaw in the Harrogate goal.
The game continue at the same pace in the second half, with the sides still struggling to create any meaningful openings. Connor Hall tested Urwin with a header from a Falkingham free kick, but otherwise it was very slim pickings in the final third.
Just like the first half Muldoon had a great chance to double the visitors’ lead, only for Urwin to come up big with an initial save, before tipping the rebound from Jack Diamond over the bar. There’s was nothing the Chorley number one could do minutes later, however, as Jon Stead was sent clear to stride past the stopper and finish superbly from close to the byline, securing his side’s fourth away win of the season.
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman (Massanka, 73′), Teague (c), Meppen-Walters, A.Newby, Carver, Smith, Baines, Nortey (E.Newby, 63′), Holroyd (Dodds, 73′). Subs not used: O’Keefe, Ross.
Harrogate: Belshaw; Falkingham (c), Burrell, Emmett (Thomson, 89′), Bradley, Stead, Kerry, Muldoon, Hall, W.Smith, Diamond. Subs not used: Fallowfield, G.Smith, Cracknell, Kiernan.
HT 0-1 / FT 0-2
Goals: Muldoon (27′), Stead (67′)
Cautions: Blakeman (31′), Carver (68′); Bradley (45′)
Referee: Tom Parsons
Assistants: Alistair Nelson & Elliot Heward
Fourth official: Darren Rogers
50/50 Draw winning numbers: 1st: 194897 2nd: 193525 3rd: 193549
Coming up: The ALL TICKET clash with Wrexham at Victory Park on New Year’s Day (3pm). Tickets on sale online and from the club shop (Mon/Tues 10am-4pm). Usual prices apply for standing (add £3 to adult/concession prices for an unreserved seat in the main stand).