Tamworth 0, Chorley 1
Ace marksman Jason Walker produced a moment of magic to send Chorley into the play-off places thanks to a third successive 1-0 victory.
Walker was the goalscoring hero in the Magpies’ last outing against Stalybridge on Bank Holiday Monday and he proved to be the matchwinner once again after conjuring a strike worthy of winning any game.
But it’s the Magpies’ new defensive resolve which has manager Matt Jansen believing his squad could be capable of mounting a serious promotion charge in what is shaping up to be a highly competitive National League North.
Tamworth had scored 10 goals in their previous two games but they could find no way through an impenetrable Chorley backline as keeper Sam Ashton and his defenders recorded a sixth clean sheet in their last seven outings.
Tamworth were looking to record a fourth straight victory on their newly-installed artificial pitch and The Lambs found the back of the net twice in the opening six minutes only for both efforts to be ruled out for infringements.
The Magpies began to find their feet on the 4G surface and O’Keefe fired an early warning with a shot that deflected over the bar.
The all-important breakthrough came in the 20th minute, when the visitors were awarded a free kick 25 yards out after Stephen Tomassen had flattened Walker.
Adam Blakeman’s initial attempt struck the wall but the ball rebounded to Walker whose stunning left-foot volley arrowed past keeper James Belshaw and into the top corner. Both sides traded blows in an end-to-end first half but the home fans became increasingly frustrated by their side’s failure to find a way past Ashton.
Tamworth boss Andy Morrell made a double substitution at the beginning of the second half and the introduction of the lively Greg Mills gave The Lambs fresh impetus.
However the Chorley backline were in no mood to cave in as the home side piled forwards in their quest for an equaliser. Ashton epitomised the visitors’ fighting spirit when he pulled off a remarkable triple save to deny Louis Briscoe and then Ross Dyer.
The Magpies saw out the final minutes without further alarms to record their third win by a solitary goal in the space of eight days.
Chorley: Ashton, Challoner, Beesley, Charnock, Leather, Jordan, Blakeman (Roscoe, 67), O’Keefe, Carver (Azam, 75), Walker (Gonzales, 76), Cottrell. Subs not used: Teague, Jarvis