Rock-bottom Chorley suffer another Victory Park setback

Chris Holroyd scored from the spot
Chris Holroyd scored from the spot

Chorley 1 Boreham Wood 3

Chorley’s stuttering start to life in the National League showed no sign of improving as they succumbed to another damaging defeat at the hands of a lively and inventive Boreham Wood at Victory Park.

Defensively at least, the Magpies froze in front of the BT Sport cameras, conceding two soft goals from corners to the dominant visitors in what manager Jamie Vermiglio later described as a ‘dreadful’ first half performance.

And the game was as good as over two minutes after the interval when the luckless Matt Challoner prodded the ball into his own net in an unsuccessful attempt to intercept a low centre which raked the home goalmouth.

To their credit, Chorley then staged a brave fightback, urged on by a vociferously undaunted home crowd, and deservedly reduced the arrears with some 13 minutes to play. Substitute Chris Holroyd was tripped inside the box and he stepped up to score in textbook fashion from the penalty spot.

Before then, however, Wood could have gone four up, Adam McDonnell clipping the bar from a 20-yard free-kick with Billy Crellin in the home goal beaten.

This was another harsh lesson for the promoted Magpies and their loyal fans.

Defensive play this season bears no resemblance to the tight-knit unit of recent campaigns and set-pieces are too often yielding opponents some cheap goals. Here, Boreham Wood’s first two corners produced almost identical goals.

Accurate placements in the 31st and 38th minutes brought headed goals for Tyrone Marsh and David Stephens who all too easily outjumped home defenders to score.

Furthermore, the home side could not establish any real midfield authority in the absence of the suspended Josh O’Keefe and the unfit Courtney Meppen-Walter.

Chorley’s only effort on goal in that torrid first half was a tame shot by Elliot Newby, following one of several promising build-ups.

Challoner’s slip-up just after half-time wrapped up the points for the visitors who, in the words of their manager, Luke Garrard, ‘took their foot off the gas’ and encouraged a spell of Chorley pressure.

Prior to the penalty, a stirring run and excellent centre by the tireless Marcus Carver saw David Gregory dive to save Alex Newby’s glancing header, while Challoner almost deceived the keeper with a teasing shot-cum-centre.

But this latest setback only strengthens the belief that Vermiglio’s search for reinforcements is becoming more pressing by the game.

CHORLEY: Crellin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Baines, A Newby, E Newby (Dodds 68), Carver, Massanka (Holroyd 68), Cottrell. Subs (not used): Ross, Meppen-Walter, Eccles.

Attendance: 1,035.