Curzon Ashton 1, Chorley 0: Magpies suffer second defeat over Easter

Chorley’s play-offs ambitions took another knock as they completed the Easter double-header pointless.

By Mike Nield
Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 9:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 3:15 pm

Fortunately, results elsewhere could have been much worse, although Boston United’s surprise success at Brackley means that they are now only two points behind the Magpies in the battle for fifth place and a potential home tie in the play-offs quarter-final.

Jamie Vermiglio’s side looked rock-solid promotion-contenders until the end of January, losing only three of 23 games, but of the 15 subsequently played seven have been lost and only 16 points gained.

A lack of fire-power has been evident in this relatively fallow period and the Chorley boss alluded to it in his post-match analysis of this latest setback.

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Jack Sampson on the ball against Curzon Ashton (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

"It was a stronger performance today and we were relentless in our pressing in the second half.

“We created numerous opportunities but lacked the killer touch and their goalkeeper has had a relatively quiet afternoon. Curzon got their defensive tactics just right and were hard to break down. We just didn’t look like scoring.”

The Magpies had more goal-attempts than their hosts and forced a high count of corners but shots and headers were either off-target or capably dealt with by Chris Renshaw in the Curzon goal.

After Curzon had tested Matt Urwin with a couple of sighters in the early stages, Mike Calveley headed Adam Blakeman’s inviting cross over the bar, a similar path traced by a deflected Brad Holmes shot.

The keeper made one notable save early in the second half from Willem Tomlinson who was also just off-target with a fiercely-struck shot during what was Chorley’s brightest attacking spell.

A late low drive on the turn by Jack Sampson saw Renshaw react smartly to save well.

The only goal of the game came after 15 minutes when Connor Dimalo shook off a challenge to force a great save from Matt Urwin, the keeper unfortunate to find Tom Peers on hand to tap in the rebound.

Chorley now face a testing four-games’ run-in, including a visit from leaders and now title-favourites Gateshead, and they very likely need a couple of wins to secure that prized fifth place.

CHORLEY : Urwin, Halls, Leather (Henley 69), Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Sampson, Tomlinson, Shenton (Hall 76), Blakeman, Holmes (Blyth 88).

Unused subs. Carroll, Spencer-McDermott.