Alfreton Town 0, Chorley 2
Last week's FA Cup goal hero Nick Haughton was at it again as Chorley eased to a very comfortable league win at Alfreton Town
In collecting all three points, the Magpies climbed to seventh in National League North, the last slot in the newly-extended play-offs positions.
Haughton bettered his stunning cup-tie winner last week with an outrageous strike from inside his own half and went on to wrap up the points late on with a confidently-taken second goal.
But it was not just Haughton’s goals that excited manager Matt Jansen.
"It was a simply brilliant team performance. We were outstanding today, created chance after chance and could have had a lot more goals. It could have been a cricket score," he said.
Magpies’ keeper Matt Urwin had a quiet afternoon as a disjointed Alfreton team offered little attacking threat. He fielded an early long-range effort from Craig Westcarr and produced his one serious save of the game in the closing stages as the hosts strove to find an equaliser.
The Chorley bench erupted in the 12th minute as Haughton, spotting keeper Chris Elliott well off his line, promptly launched the ball from the centre-circle inside his own half and was rewarded to see it arc beyond Elliott and nestle in the back of the net.
It was a superlative strike. On the half-hour, clever link-up play by the Chorley forwards sent Haughton racing on goal but this time the target was missed as he lifted his shot over the bar.
There was a further Magpies’ miss after 37 minutes. Marcus Carver was brought down in the box but Elliott dived to his right to keep out Josh Wilson’s penalty.
Little had been seen of Alfreton in attack but they began the second half in more determined fashion. Yet it was Chorley who were soon asking the questions again. Scott Leather picked out Carver with a great ball but the striker headed disappointingly wide from close range.
As the visitors dominated, Wilson struck a post with a firm shot and only a smart reflex save by Elliott kept out Andy Teague’s header from a corner. Carver should have doubled the Magpies’ lead following more clever approach work but after beating his marker he again failed to hit the target.
Urwin’s timely finger-tip save prevented an unexpected Alfreton equaliser before with five minutes to play Haughton was teed up for a run at goal and he finished with an emphatic shot into the far corner of the net.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Jordan (Jarvis,90) Haughton (Roscoe,88), O’Keefe, Carver, Wilson (Walker,77), Cottrell. Unused subs. Anson, Hughes.