Barnet 2, Chorley 1: Magpies slip to third consecutive defeat

Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio and assistant Andy Preece
Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio and assistant Andy Preece

A second half rally by Barnet consigned the Magpies to a third straight National League defeat which leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.

Prospects had looked much rosier for the visitors in an early spell in the ascendancy and, though the Bees began to take control, a wonderful goal by Marcus Carver on the half-hour gave Chorley an interval lead.

But a goal from the penalty-spot just after the hour-mark and a second with 11 minutes to play earned the hosts the three points and put an end to their winless five-game run.

It was a thoroughly testing afternoon for both teams as a strong wind and intermittent driving rain made conditions very difficult but Chorley settled quickly and Ntumba Massanka drove a fierce angled shot at keeper Scott Loach in the third minute.

Carver then had a powerful effort tipped over the bar. But Barnet were building pressure and both Josh Walker and James Dunne were narrowly off-target.

As the Bees remained dominant, Portuguese midfielder Mauro Vilhete - who would later to be the match-winner - headed over from close range.

When the Magpies returned to the attack, new signing Martin Smith, on loan from Salford City, slipped a great pass through to Massanka whose shot was deflected for a corner.

However, a Chorley goal was not delayed. Smith headed the deep corner back into the heart of the goalmouth where it was flicked on by Lewis Baines and Carver executed a remarkable overhead kick, the ball looping beyond Loach who had no chance to save.

The game turned in the 62nd minute when a challenge by Matt Challoner just inside the box conceded a debatable penalty which Jack Taylor converted and Barnet’s recovery was complete on 79 minutes - Vilhete scoring after Matt Urwin had done extremely well to save from Walker.

There was a late chance for Chorley to rescue a point when Massanka had a clear sight of goal but Loach made a great save at the striker’s feet.

"It was windy, scrappy and horrible out there," said Barnet manager Darren Currie. "But we showed terrific character to come from behind and win."

Jamie Vermiglio’s take on the match was that Chorley did more than enough to take something from it.

He said: "I was proud of our performance in many respects but unfortunately we switched off at a short corner and you simply can’t afford to do that, especially at this level. It was never a penalty – there was no contact. But it’s getting more difficult week by week to get out of trouble when we are not picking up wins."

CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Meppen-Walters, Ross, Baines, Cottrell (Almond,83), E.Newby (O’Keefe,78), Smith, Carver (A.Newby,59), Nortey, Massanka. Unused subs. Dodds, Eccles.

Att. 1,040.