Chorley’s 10-game unbeaten run ended at Hereford
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A late goal ended Chorley’s 10-match unbeaten run but the Magpies remain third in the table after a day of National League North upsets when none of the top five won and only second-placed Brackley claimed a point.
The visitors’ preparations were not helped by a late arrival at Edgar Street owing to a problem with their coach, yet they held their own in a delayed first half brimming with attacking intent by both sides, but lacking the final flourish of a goal.
Chorley had the first serious effort on target when Bulls’ keeper Brandon Hall did well to tip over a Harry Cardwell header following a Lewis Baines centre.
Then Hall smartly dealt with Jon Ustabasi’s curling shot from Cardwell’s prompting.
Moments later Matt Urwin pulled off an unlikely save with his foot when Miles Storey looked all set to open the scoring for the home side.
Then Ryan Mclean fired just over the Chorley bar after a strong run into the box.
The Magpies were living dangerously at this stage and suffered a blow just before half-time when skipper Scott Leather had to be withdrawn.
Both sides resumed with purpose after the break but it was Chorley who created the first two early chances, Cardwell heading straight at Hall and then Connor Hall seeing the home keeper save from him at point-blank range.
As in the first half, Cardwell continued to be very effective in the Magpies’ defence of corners and the longer the game went on the more a goalless draw seemed likely.
But with nine minutes left, a measured ball over the top from the influential Tom Owen-Evans sent Storey clear on goal and he coolly chipped the advancing Urwin to secure three points for the Bulls.
It was the first away goal conceded by Chorley since August and they could not muster a telling reply, drawing a blank for the second time on the road in five days.
Magpies boss Jamie Vermiglio said : ‘It was a tough, fairly even game against a very good side.
“We were 10 games unbeaten which is no mean feat in any league, let alone this one, but there’s no disguising the fact that we weren’t quite at it today.”
CHORLEY: Urwin, Henley, Smith, Leather (Blakeman 43), Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley,Tomlinson (Alli 87), Cardwell (Blyth 86), Ustabasi, Hall. Subs (not used): Shenton, Goodridge.