Blakeman is spot on for Magpies

Matt Jansen
Matt Jansen

Chorley 1 Harrogate Town 0

Chorley boss Matt Jansen was able to celebrate his award as National League North manager of the month with an important victory.

His Magpies battlers won a pulsating contest by the only goal agaainst Harrogate Town when these two promotion-chasers went toe to toe.

Chorley boasting the league’s tightest defence once again staged a successful shut-out and edged the encounter courtesy of Adam Blakeman’s 76th-minute penalty.

Chorley made most of the running in the first half and were close to a goal on several occasions.

Harrogate keeper Peter Crook tipped over Jason Walker’s far-post header after classy approach play and then visiting defenders smuggled the ball to safety from the jaws of goal following a clever Chorley corner-routine.

Crook later got down quickly to save Dale Whitham’s stinging 20-yard drive, before Walker was inches away from scoring.

Sefton Gonzales skipped past his marker down the left and floated in a lovely cross which the unmarked Walker headed on to the top of the bar.

The visitors threatened only intermittently, their best effort an early far-post Danny Ellis header from a free-kick, which flew too high.

As the interval approached, Walker rose again to meet a left-wing cross only to head wide from four yards.

There was a scare for the hosts when Sam Ashton took a heavy blow amid a ruck of players as he left his line to fist clear a well-flighted free-kick but the keeper was able to resume after lengthy treatment.

After the break it was Chorley who continued to look the likelier scorers.

Andy Teague had a goalbound effort hacked off the line and then the Harrogate goal somehow survived an almighty melee when a series of shots from short range were blocked or deflected.

The decisive moment arrived in the 76th 
minute.

Walker – put through on goal by Gonzales’ clever flick – was hauled down just inside the box by Town substitute Luke Shiels, who was shown the red card.

Blakeman coolly dispatched the penalty into the bottom corner.

Not that Harrogate were beaten yet but after a nervy end but as a delighted Jansen said: “Anything less than three points would have been a travesty.”