Chorley are second best to high-flying Yeovil Town

Ntumba Massanka (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Ntumba Massanka (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Chorley 1 Yeovil Town 2

Chorley suffered their first defeat in five National League games at the hands of high-flying Yeovil, who boosted their hopes of an immediate return to the Football League with a thoroughly professional performance.

In truth, the Glovers’ high-tempo style and intelligent, more accurate use of the ball proved too much for the Magpies, who paid for a slow start by shipping an early goal but improved sufficiently after half-time to earn an equaliser.

And they were on course for a bonus point until the visitors fashioned a quality winner on 86 minutes.

Yeovil looked the sharper side from the off and not surprisingly took the lead in the eighth minute.

Hesitant home defenders failed to halt Rhys Murphy’s run to the byline and his low centre was stroked past Matty Urwin by Matt Worthington. It was the first goal conceded by the Magpies and the fit-again Urwin in six matches.

Nortey Nortei had a decent effort charged down from a Chorley corner but the visitors continued to carry the greater threat.

The lively Remeao Hutton tested Urwin with a stinging drive which the keeper held overhead and then delivered a superb cross which Jimmy Smith headed wide of the far post.

Smith was close to doubling the Glovers’ lead when he connected firmly with a left-wing centre only to see Urwin pull off a reaction save and tip the ball on to the bar.

Clearly, Chorley who had shown little up front, were fortunate to be only one down at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Mark Ross got in the Magpies’ first meaningful shot, forcing Stuart Nelson to dive to keep out his firm drive.

Urwin produced a fine reflex save at his near post to keep Chorley in the hunt but the home side were now building pressure and from a searching centre by Ntumba Massanka, Chris Holroyd was just denied by a defender’s deflection in front of goal.

The Magpies’ determined rally was finally rewarded on 71 minutes.

A long throw from Ross triggered a scramble for possession in the Yeovil goalmouth and Massanka pounced to sweep the ball past Nelson.

However, though exchanges were even in the closing stages, the visitors’ pace and inventive approach work always promised further reward and it came from a break down the left.

Substitute James Tilley delivered a precise cross which the diving Murphy met with an emphatic header into the corner of the net.

Jamie Vermiglio was typically honest in his post-match assessment.

“We were poor in the first half but a lot better in the second and perhaps had claims to a point,” he said.

“But overall there’s no doubt we were beaten by the better side today.”

CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman (E Newby 88), Ross, Meppen-Walter, Baines, Nortei (Almond 88), Cottrell, A Newby, Holroyd, Massanka. Subs not used: Dodds, O’Keefe, Eccles.

Attendance: 1,279.