Chorley 2, Guiseley 0: Magpies strengthen grip on place in the play-offs

Two high-quality goals brought Chorley a much-needed victory and strengthened their grip on a promotion-play-offs’ place.(writes Mike Nield)

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 3rd April 2022, 9:19 am

Up against a Guiseley team fighting for their National League North survival, the Magpies needed to be on their game. Events proved that they were.

Denied the presence of inspirational centre-back and captain Scott Leather, they found an able deputy in Mike Calveley who rose magnificently to the occasion and he was strongly supported by men-of-the-match Adam Blakeman and Willem Tomlinson who came up with the goals.

Guiseley started brightly, quick and lively in attack, yet also resolute in defence. Up front however, they lacked a cutting edge and for all their first-half energy did not seriously test Matt Urwin in the home goal. Defensively, they were hard to break down and restricted the Magpies to shooting mainly from distance.

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Adam Blakeman, centre, is congratulated after opening the scoring (photo:Stefan Willoughby)

With one such attempt, Tomlinson released a blockbuster only inches too high and unsurprisingly it was from distance that Chorley took the lead after 43 minutes. Adam Blakeman lined up a free-kick some 30 yards out and beat keeper Owen Mason comprehensively, curling a sweetly-struck shot over the defensive wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Guiseley began the second half with renewed purpose but the home defence was vigilant in blocking the visitors’ most promising efforts. Chorley needed a second goal and came mighty close when Calveley crashed a shot against the crossbar. However, the vital cushion of the second goal arrived in the 65th minute.

Jack Sampson cleverly held up the ball from an Adam Blakeman cross into the box and laid it back for Tomlinson to rifle an unstoppable rising drive into the roof of the net.

Guiseley should have pulled a goal back when substitute James Gale’s fierce drive tipped onto the bar by Urwin. The rebound fell kindly for Prince Expolo but he shot tamely straight at the grateful Urwin.

It was to be the Yorkshire team’s last chance to take something from the game as Chorley saw it out safely without further alarm.

"A strong professional performance” was Jamie Vermiglio’s post-match verdict. “This was a much-needed three points and it’s up to us now to make the most of the last nine games, especially the home games coming up which are so important.”

Visiting manager Russ O’Neill, while obviously disappointed to leave empty-handed after such a crucial match, was complimentary to the Magpies: "Chorley is a difficult place to come to at any time, let alone in our current situation. They are a really good example of what a part-time team should be.”

CHORLEY : Urwin, Halls, Calveley, Baines, Blakeman, Tomlinson (Carroll 87), Shenton, Whitehouse, Sampson (Blyth 81), Hall (Holmes74), Ustabasi. Unused subs. Henley, Bright.