Dale double sinks toothless Hatters

Dale Whitham scored twice
Dale Whitham scored twice
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Stockport County 0 Chorley 2

A totally dominant display enabled Chorley to complete a Conference North double over Stockport County with unexpected ease.

It was, in truth, a toothless performance by the home side who failed to muster a single shot to trouble Sam Ashton in the Magpies’ goal.

In contrast, a top-class display by County keeper Danny Hurst alone prevented the scoreline reaching embarrassing proportions.

Home fans in a superb crowd of 3,401 – including 300 from Chorley – watched most of the proceedings in glum silence but found their voices at the final whistle to boo their team from the field.

The Hatters simply did not match Chorley’s obvious desire on the day and were all too easily hustled off the ball by the marauding Magpies.

The visitors could have been two up in the opening minutes.

Hurst flung himself to palm aside Josh Hine’s low placement from 10 yards and then the County goal had a triple escape. Hurst parried Hine’s angled drive, and he promptly followed up to rattle the inside of the far post.

The rebound reached James Dean but incredibly he failed to get the ball past the inspired Hurst from five yards.

Chorley had to wait until the 31st minute to take a well-deserved lead.

Winter was tripped on the edge of the box as he prepared to shoot and Dale Whitham struck a fine free-kick past a seemingly unsighted Hurst.

There was no change to the pattern of play after the interval and Hurst pulled off another great save from a Dean header.

Then the keeper palmed aside a powerful Chris Doyle header from one of a series of Chorley corners.

Winter’s well-struck shot forced Hurst into another fine stop but the busy keeper was caught out of position on 74 minutes by Whitham, who floated an exquisite 30-yard lob beyond the back-pedalling Hurst and just under the crossbar.

He was close to a hat-trick later with a cracking drive which fizzed just past the post.

There was still no prospect of a County goal and Hurst again was Stockport’s saviour in the last minute when he spread himself well to block Hine’s drive after the wingman had outpaced the home defence.

The result all but extinguishes County’s play-offs hopes but keeps Chorley right on the heels of the top six with a game or two in hand.

CHORLEY: Ashton, Ross, Mather (Dodd, 89), Teague, Doyle, Roscoe, Hine, Whitham, Dean (Burns,68), Dorney, Winter (Lynch,84). Subs (not used): Flynn, Almond

AFC Fylde were held 1-1 at home by Hyde, Danny Lloyd netting for the Coasters.