Flitcroft rues poor first half showing

Andy Teague
Andy Teague
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Flitcroft’s high-flying Magpies arrived at Aggborough as the league leaders but they were knocked off their lofty perch thanks to goals from Ellis Deeney and Tristan Dunkley.

Missing Andy Teague, Kyle Jacobs, Harry Winters and Jake Cottrell through injuries and suspensions, the Magpies looked a pale shadow of the side that had soared to the top of the Conference North four days earlier.

“I thought some of the lads were poor,” said Flitcroft.

“There were six or seven who didn’t get going in the first half and it cost us.

“To be fair the first goal was a great strike, but for the second one we’ve got to defend better than that.

“I’m disappointed because if we’d have been at our best then we would have won that game.”

Worcester had already fired a couple of warning shots before they took the lead in spectacular style in the 31st minute. T

here was little keeper Sam Ashton could do other than watch in admiration as Deeney curled an exquisite shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

It was all City in a one-sided first half and the visitors were indebted to Ashton for keeping them in the game with two sharp saves before the interval. The Magpies’ first real chance of the match fell to Darren Stephenson on the hour mark but the striker’s header from a James Dean flashed inches wide of the post.

Substitute Jack Lynch then drew a smart save from home keeper Nathan Vaughan when he let fly from distance.

But that was as good as it got for the Magpies who never came close to hitting top gear.

Tristan Dunkley finally made the points safe for the home side in the 86th minute when he tapped in from close range to seal a comfortable victory.

Chorley: Ashton, Ross, Mather, Esdaille-Binney, Smyth, Roscoe, Hine, Whitham, Dean, Dorney, Stephenson. Subs: Jarvis (Dean, 66), Lynch (Esdaille-Biney, 72) Not used: Almond, Jansen, Grundy. Att: 551.

Meanwhile, AFC Fylde moved top of the Conference North after a 2-0 away win at Gloucester City thanks to goals either side of half time from centre half Tom Hannigan.

Hannigan, who has had a solid start to his Coasters career bundled the ball home from a yard out from a corner just before the half time whistle, and then his thumping header on 51 minutes killed off Gloucester and made sure that The Coasters came away from Gloucestershire with all three points.

Manager Dave Challinor said: ‘Obviously we’re delighted to win. We’ve played better in the past and come away with nothing so the important aspect is that we’ve won the game.

“You can’t play well every game and it’s a sign of a good side when you don’t play well and win. It just so happens at the moment that when we are playing well, we win them too’.

“There will be some rotation to keep the squad fresh. It’s made my job very easy so far as the 11 players I’m picking to start the games are all doing good enough jobs to keep their place and we find ourselves top of the league table because of it.

“We’ve got a week until the next game and no more midweek games for a few weeks so the lads can rest up midweek.

“We may rotate in the FA Cup and everyone is chomping at the bit to get a chance to start.”

Southport were beaten 2-0 by bottom side Alfreton Town at home on Saturday.

The game was virtually over after the first 10 minutes. Inept defending let in Joe Ironside after just 90 seconds and a Karl Hawley shot eight minutes later sealed the visitors’win as the Sandgrounders, without Micah Evans and star man, Richard Brodie slipped to 17th in the Conference table.

FA Cup first qualifying round results: Bamber Bridge 2 Squires Gate 2, Burscough 0 Curzon Ashton 1, Harrogate 3 Clitheroe 1, West Allotment Celtic 0 Lancaster 5. NPL First Division North result: Kendal Town 2 Mossley 3.