Chorley 1-0 Hereford - Magpies' perfect start in National League North continues
The script remained the same '“three points for the Magpies and a fifth clean-sheet in five '“ but Chorley's table-toppers Â were made to fight hard for this latest victory by a feisty, hard-working Hereford who were clearly shattered to lose in added time.
But in truth Chorley deserved to win after dominating the second half. Substitute Josh Wilson was the hero of the hour. Denied minutes earlier by a world-class save by Bulls’ keeper Martin Horsell, Wilson popped up again in the second minute of added time to claim a memorable victory to great acclaim from home fans in a fine crowd of 1,542.
Neither side could establish control in a cagey first half, though Chorley had more efforts on goal. Shots and headers were, however, mostly off-target and the most threatening shot came from Alex Newby, smartly saved by Horsell at his near post. Hereford built promising attacks mainly down the left but too often the final ball was wayward.
A corkscrew dribble by Marcus Carver culminated in a floated shot which curled beyond the far post and Alex Newby got in a header from a deeply-delivered corner but again the ball passed harmlessly wide of the opposite post.
Chorley upped the tempo after the break and Adam Blakeman got to the by-line and delivered a raking low ball which Alex Newby could not quite usher into the net from close range.
Referee Dean Watson pulled up injured midway through the half and had to stand down, the extended break seeming briefly to galvanise Hereford. Elliot Richards fired wildly over from an inviting square pass and then Matt Urwin made a stunning point-blank save as two Hereford forwards closed in.
At the other end, Horsell pulled off a brilliant save to keep out a Carver header and did even better later when Wilson got in a telling close-range header from a left-wing cross only to see
Horsell produced a top-class save as at full stretch he athletically palmed the ball over the bar. Chorley were calling all the shots at this stage but was the clock going to beat them? In the second of eight minutes to be added, Matt Challoner wriggled clear along the by-line and slid a low cross to Wilson who turned the ball into the corner of the net from six yards as the crowd erupted.
"It was never going to be easy today,’ commented manager Jamie Vermiglio. "Hereford were well-organised and had good shape and we struggled to break then down in the first half. But the players took the game to a different level in the second half and fully deserved to win. I feel more proud of this one than any of the first four victories."
CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather Meppen-Walter,68), Jordan, Newby (a.), O’Keefe, Carver, Almond (Wilson,63), Newby (E.) (Cottrell, 90+7). Unused subs. Fletcher, Short.