Chorley 3, Stockport County 0: Magpies thrilled to record long-awaited win
Chorley finally recorded their long-awaited first National League victory at the 10th attempt to move off the bottom of the table into 22nd place.
It was a richly deserved win, the product of an impressively dominant performance which controlled proceedings almost throughout.
Disciplined defensive work coupled with tenacity in midfield, often lacking to date this season, gave County little chance to build on a recent trio of victories.
Two goals in the first half-hour, expertly finished by Chris Holroyd, gave the Magpies a victory platform which they rarely looked like surrendering to a County team who could not match their hosts’ hunger on the day.
Chorley got off to a flying start with a goal in the sixth minute.
An attempted clearance was blocked by Matt Challoner and the ball ricocheted into the path of Holroyd who calmly stroked it past Ben Hinchcliffe from twelve yards.
The Hatters struggled to make any impression on an unyielding home defence, in which Courtney Meppen-Walters was a towering presence, and it was no real surprise when Chorley went two up on 26 minutes.
Slick inter-passing down the right culminated in Challoner teeing up Holroyd for another composed finish as he beat Hinchcliffe with a low cross-shot for his fourth goal of the season.
The hosts were inches away from a third when Marcus Carver’s well-timed header from a right-wing centre flew just over the bar and the half ended without a single Stockport shot on goal.
Although the visitors were more assertive after the break, there was no end-product and the hour-mark had passed before Billy Crellin in the home goal was called upon to make a routine save from a header.
The keeper was then in action again, gathering a low angled snap-shot from substitute Nyal Bell at his near post.
Chorley almost added a third from a scramble for possession in County’s six-yards’ box, with both Holroyd and Alex Newby close to prodding the ball home.
The Magpies came even closer late on, as Craver’s terrific cross-shot from range bounced off the bar with Hinchcliffe vainly scrambling across his goal. In retaliation, Bell headed inches over the bar for County before Chorley underlined their victory in added time.
An incisive move down the left led to Carver nodding an inviting square pass across the back of the box which late substitute Elliot Newby dispatched past the exposed Hinchcliffe to the acclaim of home fans in a superb crowd of 2,693.
A delighted Jamie Vermiglio commented : ‘No-one could argue with the result.
"We fully deserved to win and we’ve shown that we can compete at this level. It’s great to be able to say that we’ve played really well and not that we must dust ourselves down and go again.
"We’ll need another 12 or 13 wins to be safe but we’ve clearly shown what we are about here."
CHORLEY : Crellin, Challoner, Teague, Leather, Courtney Meppen-Walters, Baines, A.Newby (Dodds,84), O’Keefe, Carver, Holroyd (E.Newby,87), Cottrell. Unused subs. Massanka, Blakeman.