Gateshead 0, Chorley 1: "Unbelievable" Magpies down National League North title favourites
"Unbelievable" was manager Jamie Vermiglio’s post-match verdict on the Magpies’ stand-out performance against a Gateshead side strongly tipped for the National League North title.
"It was a brilliant away performance, fantastic. I thought we were the better side throughout and always looked the more likely to score.
"The players’ fitness-levels were top-drawer – all this against a very good, strong team who are full-time and have high ambitions."
The victory lifts Chorley into second place behind Brackley Town and it’s the sheer consistency of the Magpies - beaten just once in the last 18 league games – which has enabled them to launch a serious promotion challenge.
They started on the front foot, Will Tomlinson shooting over and seeing another good effort blocked and Jon Ustabasi scuffing his shot wide after a sharp solo burst.
In the Chorley goal Matt Urwin was not seriously tested before half-time.
Chorley had another chance just after the interval, Harry Cardwell turning smartly and firing just over the bar. Gateshead now began to exert pressure and Urwin made a fine save, standing tall to deny Macauley Langstaff sent through on goal .
Then Robbie Tinkler was narrowly wide with a decent shot from 25 yards.
The vital goal arrived in the 58th minute. Billy Whitehouse dug out one of his trademark inviting crosses and Mike Calveley was on hand to score with a glancing header at the back post.
Exchanges were even as the game entered its final quarter but threats on either goal were few until Gateshead inevitably threw everything into a late effort to snatch a point. Urwin was alert in getting down quickly to save from Cedwyn Scott in the Magpies’ closest call.
But in truth the hosts in suffering their first home defeat of the season had not caused Chorley too many problems, so well did Vermiglio’s men manage the game with skipper Scott Leather immense at the heart of the defence.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Henley, Leather, Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Cardwell, Tomlinson (Shenton,83), Ustabasi (Smith,89), Blakeman, Alli. Unused subs. Hall, Holmes.
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