Chorley 1 Hereford 2: Magpies fail to capitalise on feelgood factor after midweek win

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A very flat performance brought the Magpies down to earth after the exhilarating victory over South Shields in midweek.

The players looked drained of energy in a sluggish first half against a Hereford side bristling with intent ahead of their big FA Cup clash next Saturday against Gillingham.

The visitors were sharper, made much better use of the ball and looked a much more cohesive unit, while Chorley struggled to retain possession and create openings.

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The Bulls certainly had the measure of the Magpies in the first half and could easily have been a couple of goals up at the break.

Chorley boss Andy Preece (courtesy of dia_Images)Chorley boss Andy Preece (courtesy of dia_Images)
Chorley boss Andy Preece (courtesy of dia_Images)

Matt Urwin raced from his line to make a brave save at the feet of Yusifu Ceesay, sent clear by a clever through ball, while a well-struck volley by Ethan Freemantle skimmed the post and hit the stanchion.

Other strong, low shots flew narrowly wide.

However, Chorley ought have gone ahead when finally creating an opportunity as half-time approached. Justin Johnson should have buried the chance set up by Carlton Ubaezuonu’s square pass but his underpowered shot allowed Curtis Pond to palm the ball to safety.

The Magpies showed more urgency after the interval and Mike Calveley was only just too high with a quickly-taken volley from 10 yards.

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It was poor defending which enable Hereford to go ahead after 56 minutes. Joe Nolan delayed on the ball at the edge of the box and was dispossessed, Freemantle squaring for Jack Tolley to tap in from short range, despite a suspicion he was offside.

Worse was to follow for Chorley on 75 minutes. A home attack came to nothing, Pond gathered the ball and promptly launched it straight down the middle.

The home defence was caught too far upfield and, timing his run perfectly from halfway, Alex Babos raced clear unchallenged before blasting the ball past the exposed Urwin.

Three minutes later, the Magpies pulled a goal back to keep the contest alive. Johnson centred for Jack Sampson to score with neat header from six yards.

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But despite a late rally and a series of corners, Chorley could not find an equalizer faced by a very determined Bulls’ defensive screen.

CHORLEY: Urwin, Moore (Blakeman 90+1), Ellis, Smith, Ubaezuonu, Henley, Calveley, Sampson, Nolan (Moyo 69), Johnson, Whitehouse (Shenton 83). Unused subs: Doumbouya, Brindle.

Attendance: 1,366.