Chorley 2, Blyth Spartans 0: ​Magpies brush aside Blyth to maintain top-three spot

​​Chorley completed a maximum six-points’ haul from the Easter weekend programme to retain third place in the National League North table.
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This was a workmanlike rather than spectacular performance but illustrated once again the sheer consistency of Andy Preece’s side and the ability to do what it takes to win games, as the boss pointed out after the match.

"It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means but we did what we had to do. At this stage of the season it’s all about points not performances. The lads are giving absolutely everything to get us where we want to be.”

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The Magpies got their goals at the right time, the first to stifle a promising start by Blyth and the second shortly before the break to ensure a healthy half-time lead.

Justin Johnson is brought down inside the penalty area  (photo: David Airey/@dia_images)Justin Johnson is brought down inside the penalty area  (photo: David Airey/@dia_images)
Justin Johnson is brought down inside the penalty area (photo: David Airey/@dia_images)

After that it was all about game-management, which Chorley achieved with a minimum of fuss to record a second Eastertide clean-sheet.

After early Magpies’ pressure, nullified by one headed clearance from the jaws of goal, Matt Urwin got down smartly to save low to his right from a sharp Blyth counter.

Justin Johnson, as elusive as ever, was proving a real handful for the Spartans’ defence and he was unlucky to see a dipping 20-yard drive just cleared the bar.

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It was Johnson who won Chorley a penalty on the half-hour. A driving run left three defenders in his wake before he was brough to earth.

Jack Sampson stepped up to score comfortably from the spot but owing to encroachment into the penalty-area he was ordered to retake the kick.

Unflustered, he stroked home the second attempt with equal aplomb.

Brilliant work by Frankie Maguire in breaking through to the by-line and crossing for Adam Henley to head in from six yards doubled Chorley’s lead on 44 minutes.

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An audacious effort from just inside the Blyth half by Adam Blakeman straight after the interval almost caught out keeper Michael Hogan who collided with a post in keeping the shot out.

Later efforts by Maguire and Billy Whitehouse were just off-target as Chorley sought to wrap up the points and with Blyth unable to muster a reply the game petered out, producing the Magpies’ 15th home win of this highly-productive campaign and surely now a place in the promotion play-offs.

CHORLEY : Urwin, Henley, Ellis (Smith 66), Wilson, Blakeman, Calveley, Glynn (Horbury 79), Maguire, Johnson, Sampson (Ubaezuonu 77), Whitehouse.

Unused subs. Nolan, Sithole.

Att. 1,302.