Chorley 0, Blyth Spartans 1: Blyth hand Magpies cup knockout in last minute
It was a particularly disappointing exit, as the Magpies failed to produce the level of intensity which so often characterizes their play.
In the early exchanges Chorley created a fine opening with one-touch passing and Ollie Shenton applied the finish but was flagged marginally offside. Blyth’s Nicky Deverdics hit the bar from a free-kick and Adam Blakeman did likewise for Chorley. Two moments in the half summed up the Magpies’ afternoon.
Mike Calveley wasted a clear chance to open the scoring, only to send a free header wide from some six yards and later what appeared to be a clear handball in the Blyth box went unpunished.
The Spartans moved the ball quickly and intelligently, keeping the home defence on its toes, but in the second half the better chances came Chorley’s way.
Twice Connor Hall was released down the right channel and got in well-struck angled shots but each time keeper Alex Mitchell was equal to the threat. Substitute Joe Nolan looked all set to settle the home fans’ nerves but his rising drive in a packed goalmouth was deflected over the bar. Blyth were never out of the picture, soaking up a spell of pressure and breaking quickly to good effect. But despite forcing a number of corners they were not able to seriously test Matt Urwin.
Finally, however, and, it seemed, almost inevitably, Jonathan O’Donnell swung over a right-wing cross to the far post where Gillies rose highest to steer a header into the net and put Blyth into the fourth qualifying round draw.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Wilson (Tomlinson 61), Leather, Blakeman, Calveley, Whitehouse, Shenton (Nolan 55), Ustabasi, Sampson (Johnson 78), Hall. Unused subs. Henley, Smith, Schorah, Drench. Att. 694.
Elsewhere in the FA Cup, Bamber Bridge were beaten 3-0 at home to Buxton while AFC Fylde were held to a 1-1 draw at Congleton. Clitheroe also drew 1-1 at home to Bury AFC.
In the National League North, Southport beat Bradford PA 4-1 and in the NPL Premier Division, Lancaster drew 1-1 at home to Belper Town.
NWC: Burscough 2 Irlam 3, Charnock 5 IOM 1, Litherland 3 Kendal 1, Longridge 5 Lower Breck 1, Euxton Villa 1 Daisy Hill 0, Runcorn 3 Garstang 1.