Report by Connor Bromley
In association with:
Alan McLean FCMA CGMA
Chartered Management Consultant
Vanarama National League North
Saturday 14th April 2018
Chorley 2-0 Blyth Spartans
Blyth Spartans were dealt a huge blow to their faltering playoffs hopes as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against playoff rivals Chorley.
A controversial Alex Newby opener on 40 minutes gave the home side a half-time lead.
Midway through the second half, Chorley top scorer Marcus Carver doubled their lead to give them a two-goal advantage.
After Saturday’s results, Blyth slipped to 10th and five points off the playoffs while the Magpies move just behind York in the standings with their promotion hopes remaining well and truly alive.
The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and nearly broke the deadlock on seven minutes as Carver headed from point-blank range, forcing Jameson into making a superb save as he tipped the ball onto the bar.
Blyth got their first chance of the game on 12 minutes as Ian Watson played a delicious ball into the area for Sean Reid to attack. Matt Urwin in the Chorley goal punched the ball clear, but left his net unguarded as his clearance landed at the feet of Damen Mullen. The Blyth midfielder fired his effort just over the bar.
On 15 minutes Blyth had a wishful penalty appeal turned down as Jarrett Rivers appeared to be fouled in the box. Despite his protests, the referee awarded a goal kick.
The first half hour of the game was turning into a chess game as both defences were on top. Adam Wrightson looked continually dangerous as his dribbling caused Chorley all sorts of problems.
But the turning point of the game came in the 40th minute. Rivers appeared to be upended by Andy Teague but the referee played on. The resulting play saw Carver break down the right-hand side and play a wonderful ball across the box for Newby, who fired into an open net. Sean Reid was booked for his protests after the goal.
Chorley took a 1-0 lead into the break.
Mullen came close to getting Blyth back on level terms early in the second half, he fired an effort just wide of the post from 20 yards out.
Robbie Dale then came close on 59 minutes after some great Blyth play. Reid sliced through the home sides defence with a great pass to Rivers, who crossed for Dale. The Spartans skipper could not get his feet sorted and his touch fell straight to Urwin in the Magpies net.
Blyth were left to rue their early second-half dominance as Chorley took a foothold of the game on 60 minutes. Cottrell and Walker both came close for the home side and it seemed only a matter of time before Blyth would be picking the ball out of their net.
With 65 minutes on the clock, the Magpies made Blyth pay as top scorer Carver netted a hammer blow to Blyth’s season.
Newby, who was a thorn in Blyth’s side all day, crossed magnificently for Carver who had nothing left to do other than put the ball into the empty Spartans net from six-yards out.
Alun Armstrong’s men never seemed to recover from the second goal and Chorley looked the more likely to score for the rest of the game.
Jason Walker nearly added a third late on as he chipped Jameson, but his effort hit the bar and Matty Hughes put the rebound over from close range.
A flurry of Blyth corners and free-kicks towards the end of the game came to nothing and the hosts took three huge points for their season.
Blyth are now on a six-game losing streak which they will hope to end against Telford on Tuesday night at Croft Park.
Chorley: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Jordan, Newby (Molyneux, 82), O’Keefe (Whitham, 70), Carver (Hughes, 72), Walker, Cothrell. Subs: Anson, Wilson
Blyth: Jameson, Liddle, I.Watson (Cartwright, 72), Mullen, Buddle, Atkinson, Rivers, Reid, Wrightson (Hopson, 62), Laidler, Dale (Langstaff, 69) Subs: McTiernan, MacDonald.
Spartans Man of The Match: Peter Jameson
Referee: Simon Mather