Nuneaton 0, Chorley 1
Jamie Vermiglio's Magpies stand in proud isolation at the top of National North as the only team with maximum points from the opening three games.
A perfect record enhanced by the fact that Chorley have yet to concede a goal.
This match, low on excitement, proved to be a routine run-out for the Magpies’ redoubtable defence which frankly was never in serious danger of surrendering the 44th minute lead gained by Marcus Carver’s header.
Nuneaton had neither scored nor conceded in the first two matches so a game of few clear chances was always on the cards. Vermiglio was well pleased with the outcome: ‘We were outstanding today. Nuneaton presented us with a totally different package from what we faced in the first two games. They were well organised and a tough team to break down but I am obviously delighted with nine points from the first three games.’
Vermiglio boldly selected returned Fleetwood loanee Matt Urwin in goal ahead of the unfortunate Cameron Belford who had been unbeaten in the opening games but Urwin had no more to do than make a couple of routine saves.
Scott Leather picked a first-minute yellow card for a professional foul as a home striker broke through but there was little further drama in the opening half-hour. Then Elliot Newby looked to have a strong claim for a penalty when felled on the point of shooting before Nuneaton had their best chance of the afternoon. A left-wing centre fell kindly for Harry Panayiotou but he snatched at the opportunity and sliced his effort off-target.
The miss was to prove costly almost at once. Play transferred to the other end and Andy Teague sent over a superb cross which evaded everyone except Marcus Carver who stooped to head into an empty net.
What chances there were in the second half were created by Chorley. Josh O’Keefe tested keeper Ross Etheridge from distance and later, when a Matt Challoner cross caused confusion in the home box, Louis Almond’s shot was brilliantly palmed aside by the Borough keeper.
Then Elliot Newby was hauled back at the expense of a yellow card when breaking clear on goal. A spell of Nuneaton pressure midway through the half briefly threatened a revival but home attacks inevitably foundered on the rock of the solid Chorley defence. It was in short a classic away performance by a Magpies’ unit which already has a very challenging look about it.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Jordan, Newby (A.) (Whitham,87), O’Keefe, Carver (Wilson,68), Almond (Fletcher,75), Newby (E.).
Subs. not used : Meppen-Walter, Short.
Attendance : 511