Chorley 0, Ashton United 1: Magpies shocked by strugglers

Relegation-battlers Ashton defied pre-match bookmakers’ odds of 12/1 to nick the points against league leaders Chorley at Victory Park.

Sunday, 24th February 2019, 9:53 am
Updated Sunday, 24th February 2019, 11:07 am
Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio

The Magpies’ third defeat in four games leaves them clinging to top-spot on marginal goal difference and a win against bottom-of-the table Nuneaton on Tuesday has now become essential.

It could all have been so different if a couple of the very close calls in the Ashton goalmouth in the opening half-hour had produced goals.

Keeper George McMahon kept the visitors in the game at that stage with a trio of superlative saves and when he was beaten he was fortunate that the crossbar came to his aid in both the first half and the second.

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However, to Ashton’s credit, once they went in front on the hour they rarely looked like surrendering the lead, so solidly did they defend.

Alex Newby crashed a shot against the visitors’ bar in the opening minutes, while from a quick Ashton counter-attack Matt Urwin made a fine save from Kallum Mantack’s low shot.

As the Magpies upped the tempo, Newby forced McMahon into a superb reflex save from another hot-shot Marcus Carver failing to penetrate a cluster of defenders in the six-yards box from the rebound. McMahon repeated the heroics soon afterwards and it seemed just a matter of time before Chorley broke through.

But the Magpies’ fire was not sustained as a series of hold-ups disrupted the flow of the game, one of which led to Scott Leather leaving the field with a head injury.

The decisive goal arrived on the hour from a corner which ricocheted onto the far post, Matthew Regan prodding the ball past Urwin into the net at the second attempt. Almost at once,

McMahon touched a Josh O’Keefe header from a corner onto the bar and the rebound was hacked clear.