Chesterfield 2, Chorley 3: Charles Vernam inspires Magpies to first away win

Courtney Meppen-Walter concedes a free-kick against Chesterfield
Courtney Meppen-Walter concedes a free-kick against Chesterfield

Chorley ended a 10-game winless run with this well-deserved victory over a Chesterfield side beaten only once in their last seven National League matches.

Grimsby Town loanee Charles Vernam was the Magpies’ matchwinner with a brace of goals including a penalty but this was essentially a fine team effort which caused the home fans in a crowd of 4,090 no end of frustration.

Only the second Chorley win in what has been a torrid campaign to date, it was built on a strong start and a two-goal lead secured in the opening 19 minutes. Vernam opened his account on 16 minutes, controlling a clever ball over the top from the excellent Martin Smith before promptly firing unerringly past keeper Shwan Jalal.

Smith was again the provider three minutes later, hoisting a free-kick to the far side of the home penalty area where Courtney Meppen-Walters rose above his marker to power a header in-off the post into the net. Not surprisingly, Chesterfield mounted early second-half pressure, Urwin doing well to punch clear from a dangerous corner, but Marcus Carver was very close with a strong effort which flew just over the bar following great link-up play between Alex Newby and Vernam.

However, Chesterfield pulled a goal back in the 68th minute from a cracking strike by Weston who gave Urwin no chance with a fierce shot into the top corner of the net. And Urwin had to be vigilant in turning over a Jay Sherdian free-kick as the hosts fought to equalise.

Vernam’s spot-kick on 74 minutes eased the pressure on the visitors. Having robbed Will Evans of the ball and advanced into the box, he was clumsily brought down by the defender.

Vernam converted the penalty himself with a minimum of fuss. Eight minutes from time Chesterfield reduced the arrears to set up a nerve-jangling finish. The Magpies survived desperate late efforts by the hosts to salvage a point.

Urwin saved brilliantly from Boden, and Meppen-Walters and Lewis Baines both crucially headed clear from corners as Chorley successfully saw out the game for a first away win.

CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman (Cottrell,69), Meppen-Walters, A. Newby (O’Keefe,75), Carver, Ross, Smith, Baines, Nortey, Vernam (Dodds,83). Unused subs. E.Newby, Massanka.

Att. 4,090.