Bradford Park Avenue 0, Chorley 3

Dale Whitham

Dale Whitham

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A superlative display by Chorley stretched their unbeaten league run to nine games and lifted theminto third place in the National League North table.

Yet again, Matt Jansen’s men recorded a clean-sheet, their ninth in 14 outings, as they cruised past bottom side Bradford Park Avenue 3-0.

They gave Park Avenue few opportunities to record a much-needed first win of the season.

To add gloss to the clear-cut victory, Chorley fashioned two superb goals with eye-catching approach play and midfield dynamo Dale Whitham’s stunning brace made him the side’s leading scorer with five.

The Magpies opened brightly and were given a boost on eight minutes when Jake Cottrell’s 20-yards’ drive took a slight deflection off Avenue’s Shane Killock and beat Joe Cracknell in the home goal.

It should soon have been 2-0 but Jason Walker, industrious throughout, somehow fired wide from close range from Paul Jarvis’s prompting. But only a superb finger-tip save by Cracknell then kept out Walker’s curling shot heading for the top corner.

Sam Ashton, not unduly troubled in the first half, held a close-range effort but just before the break Cracknell again rescued Bradford after Sefton Gonzales was teed up by clever combination between Andy Teague and Walker.

The home side began the second half on the front foot and might have had an early goal, strong claims for handball in the Chorley goalmouth going unanswered. But the visitors were soon knocking on the door again and Cracknell pulled off another terrific save from Walker.

A second Magpies’ goal was inevitable and it arrived in the 55th minute. Adam Blakeman slipped a glorious pass through to Jarvis who crossed for Whitham to fire home an athletic volley.

This brilliant finish deflated Avenue for a time but they did fight back and Ashton had to be alert to turn over a powerful header. Chorley, however, were in no mood to give ground and completely controlled the later stages with some textbook possession football. It was a composed series of passes which culminated in a third goal with virtually the last kick of the match, Whitham again volleying unerringly past Cracknell to complete a Magpies’ double over Avenue, replicating the scoreline of the first meeting at Victory Park in August.

CHORLEY: Ashton, Challoner, Jarvis (Beesley,81), Teague, Leather, Jordan, Blakeman, Whitham, Walker (O’Keefe, 86), Gonzales (Roscoe, 90), Cottrell. Unused subs. Lynch, Charnock.

Attendance: 390.