A NARROW 1-0 win against Frickley Athletic last Saturday kept alive the Magpies hopes of promotion this season.
It was the seventh victory by the minimum margin for the Magpies in a season of fluctuating fortune and a third success in the last four away games.
Debutant Paul Jarvis, signed from AFC Fylde only hours before the kick-off, made an immediate impact, winning and taking the corner from which Chorley seized the lead inside the first minute.
Jarvis’s well-flighted flag-kick was met by an equally well-directed header by Kiel O’Brien which Adam Roscoe nodded into the net from close range.
Jarvis was creatively prominent in the Magpies’ assured first half performance before enduring excessive attention from Frickley’s over-physical spoiling tactics and had to be withdrawn early in the second half.
The home side rarely stretched a compact Chorley defence and apart from one smart reflex save in the second half, goalkeeper Jack Cudworth was not seriously tested.
It was the Magpies who might have added to the scoreline several times after the interval.
The hard-working Darren Stephenson lifted a punt by Andy Teague over advancing keeper Jamie Green only to see the ball hit a post and late on he should have done better than place his shot wide after drawing Green from goal.
Tom Ince was also off-target following a great pass by Ash Parillon and Ahmadi Proya could only shoot straight at the keeper when clean through.
Deep into stoppage-time, the referee surprisingly refused Chorley a penalty, overruling a linesman’s signal when Stephenson appeared to be hauled down inside the box.
It was not a vintage performance by the Magpies but one which suggested that Jarvis will soon prove a very sound investment by the Victory Park club and manager Garry Flitcroft.