Nervous end for victorious Chorley after being in command

A powerhouse second-half show kept the Magpies firmly in the National League North promotion race following a 3-2 home win against Hereford.

By Mike Neild
Sunday, 30th January 2022, 9:28 am
Updated Sunday, 30th January 2022, 9:52 am

Three goals in a devastating 12-minute spell wiped out Hereford’s first-half lead and but for heroics by Bulls’ keeper Brandon Hall the damage would have been even more severe.

As it was, the visitors fought pluckily right to the finish and grabbed a second goal in the 89th minute to set up a tense period of added time, the final whistle greeted with relief by the home fans in another excellent Victory Park crowd of 1,549.

With the strong wind behind them, Hereford were quick on the break and went ahead on 14 minutes.

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Chorley find the net against Hereford (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Ryan McLean, bursting down the right, held off a couple of challenges before squaring for Jaanai Gordon to fire past Matt Urwin from 12 yards.

It was almost two when a fiercely-struck free-kick flashed just over the Chorley bar – a reminder for home fans that Hereford were the last team to beat the Magpies back in November.

When Chorley hit back, Hall pulled off a fine reflex save from Brad Holmes and did even better just before the break to foil Jon Ustabasi at the near post.

In-between these efforts, Urwin had kept Chorley in the game with a superb save from Ryan Lloyd’s 30-yards’ piledriver.

The now wind-assisted Magpies took over in the second half.

Hall brilliantly saved a rocket from Holmes but incessant pressure on the Hereford defence finally told in the 58th minute.

Adam Blakeman curled a sublime 20-yard free-kick into the corner of the net to equalise.

Adam Senior then had a header scrambled off the line, before Chorley went in front on 65 minutes.

A flick-on from a right-wing throw was collected by Holmes who calmly turned and slid the ball just inside the post.

Then on 70 minutes another long throw-in fell kindly for Connor Hall to sweep home the Magpies’ third.

Cheers for a fourth home goal from a melee in the six-yards’ box were stifled when the referee spotted an infringement.

But Chorley were now firmly in charge, looking even more so when Hall produced yet another outstanding save to keep out a terrific shot from Billy Whitehouse in the closing minutes.

But there was to be a dramatic finish when Hereford broke through on the right and Miles Storey beat Urwin with a well-placed cross-shot.

Sensing a reprieve, the Bulls threw everything into the added four minutes and Urwin saved the day for a now-edgy Chorley with a great save from Momodou Touray.

Both teams deserve full credit for providing a thoroughly entertaining game in tricky conditions, the contest showcasing outstanding work by two goalkeepers in top form.

The win extends Chorley’s unbeaten run to 10 league games and lifts them one place to fourth in the table.

CHORLEY: Urwin, Senior (Scarborough 85), Leather, Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley (Shenton 38), Tomlinson, Ustabasi, Blakeman, Hall (Smith 90+2), Holmes. Subs not used: Okome, Price.