Chorley suffer setback at in-form Darlington

Darlington 3 Chorley 0

By Mike Neild
Sunday, 27th February 2022, 9:10 am

Chorley’s long-established grip on a promotion play-offs’ slot was loosened by this second successive setback.

The Magpies, sidelined for a fortnight by successive postponements, were up against a bang-in-form Darlington, full of confidence after a superb midweek victory at AFC Fylde.

And their lack of match-sharpness showed here.

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Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Despite holding the upper hand in an encouraging first half, Chorley failed to convert any of their chances and it was the Quakers who found the net to go in one up at the break.

Then a purple patch for the hosts yielded two more goals in a four-minute spell early in the second half which effectively put the Magpies out of the game.

There was an early scare for Darlington when keeper Tommy Taylor dropped a Jon Ustabasi cross but was rescued by a defender, who reacted first to prevent Jack Sampson from tapping the ball over the line.

Ustabasi then should have done better than shoot over the bar when teed up by great play between Billy Whitehouse and Mike Calveley.

Then midway through the half, only a brilliant diving save by Taylor denied Whitehouse shooting powerfully from distance.

It was therefore very much against the run of play when on 27 minutes Ben Hedley crossed for Tyrone O’Neill to head beyond Matt Urwin from 10 yards.

The Magpies hit back quickly and great work by Sampson set up Ustabasi but Taylor was alert to the danger and saved his powerful low drive.

The Quakers’ goals in the 54th and 58th minutes settled the issue. Kevin Dos Santos made the first with a dart to the byline before crossing for Jarret Rivers to score easily and then Will Hatfield cracked a 20-yard’ screamer high into the net from just outside the box.

Chorley had a late shout for a penalty for handball refused but in truth the game had long gone by then.

Jamie Vermiglio did not hide his disappointment afterwards.

He said: “It was certainly a game of two halves but we had to score when we were on top.

“There were too many poor performances in the second half and Darlington deserved to win.”

CHORLEY: Urwin, Leather, Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Sampson, Ustabasi, Shenton, Blakeman (Smith 65), Senior (Alli 62), Hall (Holmes 75). Subs (not used): Blyth, Okome.