ADAM IS SPOT ON FOR THE MAGPIES
LEAGUE leaders Chorley overcame a strong, physical challenge by Alfreton to go nine points clear at the top of the table.
The visitors were a competitive force but lacked a cutting edge in the final third,
“We were never really on the front foot or caused them problems, except for a short spell in the second half,” admitted Alfreton manager Billy Heath.
“Chorley were the best team we’ve played and we weren’t good enough. After the second penalty, they saw the game out very comfortably.”
The Magpies, in contrast, always looked dangerous in attack and but for two brilliant saves by Reds keeper Sam Ramsbottom, they would have won by mrore.
Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio was delighted to see his side extend their lead at the top, aying: “We were determined to stay on the front foot and we’ve extended our fantastic run, which is a great credit to everyone at the club.”
Alfreton started promisingly, and twice headers from set-pieces were just too high. But Chorley were
soon creating chances.
Louis Almond was just off -target with two angled attempts, and Courtney Meppen-Walter headed just past the post.
The Magpies’ pressure told on 21 minutes when Josh Wilson had a free header which Ramsbottom pushed aside, only for Matt Challoner to sweep the ball home from an acute angle.
Chorley went two-up on 28 minutes when Almond, chasing a lofted pass from Meppen-Walter into the box, was brought down by Ramsbottom. Adam Blakeman confidently converted.
Bobby Johnson put Alfreton back in the game on 33 minutes with a speculative blockbuster from 35 yards, which left home keeper Matt Urwin standing.
As the high tempo continued, Marcus Carver was close to restoring his side’s two-goal lead with a tremendous shot.
As Alfreton strove to find a quick equaliser after the break, Josh Gowling was just off-target with a low drive from a corner.
But Chorley restored their two-goal advantage on 61 minutes. Wilson chased a crossfield ball into the box and was upended by Ramsbottom, enabling Blakeman to bag his second goal emphatically from the spot.
This setback deflated Alfreton and Ramsbottom saved a certain fourth goal when at full stretch he turned a Carver header over. The keeper later denied Blakeman a hattrick by tipping over a dipping 25-yard free-kick.
Chorley held out comfortably in the closing stages as Alfreton tried without success to open up a typically resolute home defence. STAR MAN: Scott Leather (Chorley) ENTERTAINMENT: ★★★★★
BLAKE’S HEAVEN: Adam Blakeman of Chorley celebrates scoring his second goal of the game
MATT FINISH: Matt Challoner gives Chorley the lead