Urwin is Magpies No.1 choice after Belford’s exit

Chorley keeper Urwin
Chorley keeper Urwin
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He has got three clean sheets and now Matty Urwin has won the battle of the Chorley shot-stoppers as his main competition Cameron Belford has left the club.

Chorley have won all five of their opening National League North games.

Summer signing Belford, 29, started the first two wins over York and Guiseley.

But despite two clean sheets a swoop for last term’s loan star Urwin from League One Fleetwood Town was still too tempting for boss Jamie Vermiglio to turn down.

Given Urwin was part of a Magpies defence that was the second meanest in the whole division in their 2017/18 play-off heartbreak season, Vermiglio gave him a chance to make his case at Nuneaton Borough.

That sparked fierce competition for the No.1 jersey but 24-year-old Urwin has earned the gloves with three straight clean sheets.

Belford has not been in the matchday squad for the last three games and he has now left Victory Park ahead of the trip to Blyth Spartans on Saturday.

Vermiglio has cancelled Belford’s contract, with 
Urwin now officially the No.1.

He said: “Cameron’s opted to find first-team football. I respect his decision and wish him all the best for the future.”

Urwin is now the man to try and achieve the record Chorley have set for the season: 20 clean sheets.

With five down, the leaders are hungry for more.

He said: “We are not letting them in at the moment to be honest, out of the five teams none have really broken us down.

“We have had three to five proper chances against us so both goalkeepers Matty and Cam have done well.

“We defend from the front. Everyone is getting behind the ball and working hard as a team

“We have set a target of 20 clean sheets in the season – we are a quarter of a way of achieving that so hopefully it will continue.”

Now Vermiglio is preparing his men for a new test at Blyth.

He said: “We have played five teams so far and I think we have come up against four different styles of play.

“I think this is going to be another different one.

“Blyth are one of the best teams we have played in the National League North over the last couple of years.

“They move the ball well, use width, so it is going to be a different test.

“It is always tricky, any points we pick up there will be a bonus.”

Belford is not the only man leaving, striker Wes Fletcher has joined NPL Premier Division side Lancaster City on a month-long loan deal.

But he is still in Vermiglio’s plans. The Magpies boss hopes one of his strikers can step up and be a 20-goal forward, though he is pleased their nine goals have come from all over the pitch.

He said: “I think everyone recognises if we had a 20-goal-a-season striker, like some of the other teams, then we would have an even better chance.

“We have Louis Almond in who has a bit of reputation that he can score double figures, and Marcus Carver has shown in the past he can score double figures.

“So has Josh Wilson and Wes and hopefully it will click for one of them and they can have a bit of a run and have a few goals.

“On the other hand it is great that we are not just reliant on one or two players that we have the likes of the Newby brothers, who have given it a good go, plenty of shots on target and Adam Blakeman.

“But we have threats from other places and set-pieces, Andy Teague has got one already, so it is good to see from all over the pitch and not becoming too reliant on one particular person.”