Lowestoft Town 2 Chorley 0
Two late goals consigned out-of-sorts Chorley to another fruitless 500-mile round trip to the Suffolk coast, replicating last season’s similarly disappointing experience.
And but for an heroic performance by keeper Sam Ashton, rightly named man of the match, the margin of Lowestoft’s deserved National League North victory would have been greater.
There was little to choose between the teams in an open first half but Ashton was the busier keeper, tipping over a Danny Burns header and then distinguishing himself with a fine save from a Ryan Jarvis blockbuster.
For the Magpies, Dale Whitham was only just off target with a downward header and the home goalmouth later survived a hectic scramble following a corner.
Lowestoft had a great chance to take the lead on the hour, when Kieran Charnock conceded a penalty but Ashton pulled off a superb save from a Jarvis’s spot-kick.
Chorley were making little impression in attack but came close when substitute James Dean saw his header cleared off the line.
The breakthrough came on 79 minutes when substitute Robert Eagle’s corner was beaten back to him and he centred for Jarvis to rise above the defence and head in.
The Trawlerboys’ victory was sealed in the first minute of added time when a neat build-up enabled Eagle to apply a near-post finish.
Manager Matt Jansen was left nonplussed by his side’s poor display.
Jansen said: “We were flat and one-paced today. Lowestoft were better than us and wanted it more than us, which is not something you can usually say about this Chorley team. I’m baffled that after such a great win over Stockport in midweek the lads could be so poor today.
“Sam Ashton has been superb and he kept us in the game. I just hope the real Chorley will turn up for the FA Cup tie against Frickley next Saturday.”
CHORLEY: Ashton, Ross, Doyle, Teague, Charnock (Sheridan 82), Cottrell, Hine, Whitham, Carver (Dean 58), Bond, Stephenson (Guy 52). Subs (not used): Dodd, Jarvis.