Magpies aiming to keep it clean again

Chorley keeper Sam Ashton has kept five clean sheets so far

Chorley keeper Sam Ashton has kept five clean sheets so far

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Garry Flitcroft believes clean sheets are the key as the Magpies aim to seal back-to-back promotions.

Chorley leapt to the top of Conference North table after beating North Ferriby United 1-0 in front of a bumper crowd at Victory Park on Tuesday night.

And Chorley manager Flitcroft believes his men deserve to be league leaders because of their impressive clean-sheet record.

He said: “We are all over the moon – we deserve it.

“We have played all right in the first eight games but it is still early doors.

“If you look at our record we keep a lot of clean sheets.

“We’ve had five clean sheets in our opening eight matches, which is really good.

“We have been playing well in defence and we have so much to offer up front.

“We are working hard and we are very focused.”

Magpies keeper Sam Ashton was named man of the match in Chorley’s midweek victory.

The keeper made a string of late saves to secure his fifth shut-out of the season and ensure Chorley travel to Worcester tomorrow in poll position.

Flitcroft praised Ashton for his fine form.

He said: “Sam made some great saves – in the second half and the last 10 minutes he was brilliant.

“He had a great game against North Ferriby and their keeper had a good game too.

“We could have increased our tally – we had chances to increase our lead.

“But it was a deserved three points and it is great to be at the top of the table.”

Flitcroft is hoping the Magpies impressive defensive record continues tomorrow when they face Worcester at the Aggborough Stadium.

The Dragons have an equally tight defence and they have only conceded seven goals so far.

Chorley travel to Kidderminster aiming for their fourth win a row after winning three on the bounce.

Flitcroft believes his attackers are the best in the league and urged his players to showcase their skills tomorrow.

He said: “Being at the top of the table won’t faze us. We will just prepare the same as we always do.

“As far as I’m concerned, we are playing some good football.

“Worcester have a good defensive record but we are one of the best in the league attacking-wise. We are going to have to be at our best tomorrow.”

Jake Cottrell sustained a fractured cheekbone in Chorley’s 3-0 victory over Tamworth last Saturday.

Cottrell was elbowed in the face by Tamworth captain Paul Green as they challenged for the ball in the air.

Green was sent off and Cottrell is facing a stint on the sidelines.

And Flitcroft revealed the injury is a big blow to the Magpies.

He said: “Jake Cottrell is a big loss for us – he will be out for a bit.

“But Adam Ross played on Tuesday night. He came on as a substitute and that was a big plus.”

But despite his injury concerns Flitcroft believes his squad is strong enough to cope. He said: “We have a few injuries and a few suspensions but we recruited well over the summer.

“We strengthened and we have a strong enough squad.”

In the Conference Premier, Southport host Alfreton Town.