AFC Fylde  1,  Chorley  2: Magpies enjoy derby day success

The Magpies proved Christmas party-poopers in putting a damper on the Coasters’ celebrations at the opening of Mill Farm’s smart new North Stand with a typically resolute display.

By Craig Salmon
Sunday, 26th December 2021, 6:58 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th December 2021, 7:00 pm

They deservedly led 2-0 at the break and held on impressively in the second half, as Fylde strove in vain to preserve their long unbeaten home record in National North.

Chorley claimed a big three points urged on by a sizeable following in a superb crowd of 2,608 to climb into fourth place and close the gap on Fylde to three points, the defeat leaving the second-placed Coasters increasingly vulnerable to closest challengers Gateshead who now have three games in hand.

The Magpies showed a very positive approach in the opening exchanges and went ahead on 20 minutes. A regular corner routine saw Adam Blakeman’s flag-kick flicked on by Mike Calveley to leave skipper Scott Leather with a simple tap-in at the back post.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ollie Shenton hit the winner for Chorley against Fylde

Nick Haughton was always a threat for the hosts and came close before Fylde had a real scare when keeper Bobby Jones misjudged a Billy Whitehouse centre which bounced down off the bar. In a hectic scramble Jones redeemed himself with a fine save as Millenic Alli looked all set to score.

A brilliant second goal after 41 minutes put Chorley in control, the outstanding Harry Cardwell setting up Ollie Shenton on the edge of the box for a sublime curling shot into the bottom corner to which Jones did not move.

The pressure on the hosts saw them pick up four yellow cards either side of the interval but they were given an early boost on 52 minutes when Haughton’s clever turn teed up Ben Tollitt who smashed the ball past Matt Urwin.

Although Fylde cranked up the pressure, Chorley remained dangerous on the counter. Jones was forced to punch clear a driven Will Tomlinson free-kick and then from another Tomlinson delivery Cardwell rose highest to head agonisingly inches wide.

Tollitt had a big chance with seven minutes to play only to shoot straight at Urwin but the real drama came with the 90 minutes up. A series of chances fell to Fylde but incredible defending by Chorley in front of goal saw a succession of efforts blocked to preserve a hard-earned three points.

Chorley manager Jamie Vermiglio was naturally delighted with the result and his team’s performance.

He said: "It doesn’t get any better than to come to Fylde, who are a fantastic side, and put in a remarkable performance like that. We deserved to win but in the end it was down to our defending which was outstanding."

Coasters’ boss Jim Bentley in contrast lamented his team’s poor defending in the first half.

He said: "Chorley are the best in the league at set-plays and we had worked hard on that but crucially we failed to defend one of them and then a poor second goal left the players shell-shocked, though we did do much better second half."

CHORLEY : Urwin, Henley, Leather, Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Cardwell (Holmes 90+5), Tomlinson (Halls 90+3), Shenton (Smith 75), Blakeman, Alli.

Unused subs. Blyth, Spencer-McDermott.

Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.