Magpies squad is stepping up to fill the gaps left by injured stars

Defender Lewis Baines believes Chorley’s success in recent weeks has been down to other players stepping up to the plate.

By Craig Salmon
Friday, 22nd October 2021, 7:54 am
Updated Friday, 22nd October 2021, 4:24 pm

The Magpies have been without a number of key individuals at various points this season.

Players such as goal getter Connor Hall, winger Jon Ustabasi and skipper Scott Leather have been on the sidelines at different times.

While talismanic forward Harry Cardwell and central defender Andy Halls have been missing for a number of weeks with respective ankle injuries.

Lewis Baines, centre, says many of his team-mates have stepped up to cover the loss of other players through injury (photo:Stefan Willoughby)

However, the absence of such influential figures has not been detrimental to Chorley’s fortunes in the National League North.

After a slow start, the Magpies are currently exhibiting title-winning form having picked up 16 points from a possible 18.

In that run they have walloped Gloucester City 9-0 and Chester City 4-1, and last weekend they displayed another side to their game by edging past Darlington 2-1 at Victory Park despite being second best for a large period of the encounter.

The great run of results has seen the Magpies soar into a play-off position and if they win their game in hand, they could potentially move to within four points of unbeaten league leaders AFC Fylde.

While Baines admits any team at this level will miss the quality of Cardwell and Halls, he insists other players such as Harvey Smith, Millenic Alli and recent signing Jacob Blyth have stepped up to the plate.

“We had a lot of injuries which at the start of the season did not help at all,” said Baines, who is a likely starter for this weekend’s trip to Guiseley.

“But things have started to come together, a couple of new additions have helped the team.

“One or two players have come back from injury but there’s been one or two players who have stepped up.

“They have had to fill the gaps left by key players such as Scott Leather or Andy Halls.

“I think sometimes when you have injuries to players, it makes other people realise that they need to do more for the team.

“The manager has asked us to fill the gaps and do more and I think we have seen that in recent weeks – we have been doing really well.”

Meanwhile, AFC Fylde will be hoping to register their eighth league win of the season tomorrow when they travel Farsley Celtic. Jim Bentley’s men are one point clear at the top of the table.

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