Late strikes earn Magpies points

On target: Darren Stephenson

On target: Darren Stephenson

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Kings Lynn Town 0 Chorley 2

Chorley boosted their NPL Premier Division title prospects with an authoritative victory over play-offs hopefuls King’s Lynn to stay two points clear at the top.

Garry Flitcroft’s decision to opt for an overnight stay in Peterborough proved a wise move, even though top striker James Dean was a late withdrawal after feeling unwell.

The Magpies nevertheless looked sharp and coped well enough playing into the stiff wind in the first half before upping the tempo after the interval.

Two goals in the last 16 minutes finally saw them to three priceless points.

In a bright opening, Chris Almond and Dale Whitham failed to get enough power behind their shots from decent chances, before the Linnets created chances of their own.

Rob Duffy twice missed the target from inviting crosses and then from impressive former Norwich City recruit David Bell’s superb through-ball Jake Jones fired inches wide with a well-struck cross-shot. But the lively Magpies looked the likelier scorers and Whitham forced Street to save instinctively with his legs from Jack Dorney’s knock-down.

Then a Jake Cottrell blockbuster was charged down in the goalmouth.

After the break, Chorley threatened repeatedly with Whitham heavily involved.

He had the ball whipped off his toes as he prepared to shoot following Adam Roscoe’s lay-off and then, when Roscoe sent him clear, he fired over from a tight angle.

Dorney was unlucky to be adjudged offside as he tapped in the loose ball after Alex Street could only parry a Roscoe shot but a Chorley goal had to come.

It duly arrived a minute later as newly-introduced substitute Darren Stephenson fastened on to a long punt from Sam Ashton and, bursting between defenders, beat Street at the second attempt.

The Linnets were now making little impression on a compact Chorley defence and a penalty five minutes from time underlined the Magpies’ victory.

Whitham was tripped as he manoeuvred in the box and scored with a perfectly-placed spot-kick, though Street 
made a brave effort to reach 
it.

“We were superb from back to front today,” said Flitcroft.

‘King’s Lynn win a lot of games here but the players have put in the ideal away performance.

“We prepared for a difficult game in the right way and got our rewards.”

He will hope for more as Chorley take on relegation-threatened Frickley Athletic at Victory Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm)