Chorley 0, Barnet 1: Magpies stung by the Bees
Without a win now in eleven matches, a sequence stretching back to the end of November, Chorley showed few signs of ending the run against a slick, well-drilled Barnet side.
The Bees found little difficulty in defending a lead secured in the second minute of a drab game.
The Magpies’ inability to score has become a chronic weakness and the fact that they failed to muster a single shot on target in the second half tells the story.
In their last six defeats, they have failed to find the net, though losing four by only a single goal.
Manager Jamie Vermiglio again rang the changes upfront but there was no extra sharpness with Conor Hall and Alex Kiwomya forced to feed on scraps in terms of the service and support received.
Barnet were quicker and cleverer in building attacks, while their solid defence offered little encouragement to shot-shy opponents.
It was a soft goal which put Barnet in front after two minutes. The outstanding Simeon Akinola was put through on the right and fired in a low cross-shot which Matt Urwin kept out but succeeded only in palming the ball into the path of top-marksman Paul McCallum at the far post who tucked away the gift.
Barnet might soon have gone two up but for a smart reaction-save by Urwin at point-blank range from McCallum.
There was a hint of a recovery soon after the restart when Josh O’Keefe drilled a 20-yards’ drive past the post but that was to prove the Magpies’ only serious shot of a lacklustre second half.
Barnet defended with composure and were always dangerous on the counter.
Akinola brought a great save from Urwin with a well-struck free-kick which the keeper touched onto the bar, with home fans relieved to see McCallum head the rebound high over. Akinola twice worked openings for himself with clever footwork but could not quite hit the target.
As Chorley toiled earnestly for an unlikely equaliser, Scott Duxbury put in a raking low centre which just eluded O’Keefe beyond the far post.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Ross, Meppen-Walters, Duxbury, Smith (Cottrell,78), O’Keefe, E.Newby, A.Newby (Carver,61), Hall, Kiwomya (Nortyey,78). Unused subs. Blakeman, Baines.