Chorley left it late but deserved derby victory over Southport

In a tumultuous second half of this shoot-out between two of the National North’s play-offs contenders, Chorley came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory in a breathtaking finale in added time.

By Mike Neild
Sunday, 13th March 2022, 9:59 am

The outcome could not have been more unexpected or dramatic as the opening exchanges were low key.

The Magpies were slow into their stride and Southport grabbed the initiative with a simple goal on eight minutes. A long throw into the goalmouth was not dealt with by the home defence and Jordan Archer was given time and space to slide the visitors in front from eight yards.Surprisingly, this was almost the last attacking threat posed by the Sandgrounders.

As Chorley slowly grew into the game, Millenic Alli worked himself an opening on the byline but shot straight at Cameron Mason from the tight angle.

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Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Then Jack Sampson had a header cleared from the jaws of goal before the Magpies were given a golden chance to equalise in the 38th minute.

Ex-Magpie Adam Anson handled in the penalty area but Will Tomlinson blazed the spot-kick over the bar. It looked then as if it might just be Southport’s day.

A pulsating second half, however, changed the complexion of the match completely. Chorley found such intensity in their play that the Southport goal came under constant siege.

The visitors did not muster a single shot on goal and were so outplayed that they were fortunate not to lose more heavily than they ultimately did.Chorley mounted wave after wave of attacks and the only surprise was that it took until added time for them to claim a thoroughly deserved victory.

Southport were tormented by the pace of Jon Ustabasi and the trickery of the elusive Alli. It was Ustabasi’s persistence on the left flank which on 59 minutes set up the chance for Ollie Shenton to equalise with a well-struck low angled drive.

As the onslaught intensified, Ustabasi shook the crossbar and Alli hit a post. Mason in each case getting his finger-tips to the ball to keep his side on terms.

With time running out, Andy Halls sent a strong header just over the bar, while Shenton fired inches too high.Five added minutes were signalled and in the second of these Shenton sent the home fans in the crowd of 1,395 wild with the winning goal.

He lofted a free-kick into the goalmouth and his delivery caught Mason and his defenders flat-footed as the ball dropped inside the far post.

The resumption of play was then briefly delayed as scuffles broke out between occupants of the Southport dug-out and match stewards but when order was restored, Chorley comfortably saw out the remaining minutes to seal a famous victory and open a three-point gap between themselves and sixth-placed Southport.Jamie Vermiglio was delighted with his side’s performance.

He said: “After the first 20 minutes we dominated the game, showed loads of energy and fully deserved the win.”

Port boss Liam Watson was typically honest in his assessment.

"We were second-best today and the 2-1 scoreline flattered us,” said Watson.

CHORLEY: Urwin, Halls, Leather, Baines, Shenton, Tomlinson, Calveley, Whitehouse, Sampson, Alli (Holmes 90+6), Ustabasi. Subs not used. Blakeman, Blyth, Hall.