Unusual lack of spirit as Blyth proves costly

Chorley celebrate after taking the lead
Chorley celebrate after taking the lead

Chorley’s Evo-Stik League title hopes took a blow as they suffered a shock defeat against Blyth Spartans.

In a first half of total dominance, Chorley led through a Shaun Utterson own goal.

But a two minute spell just before half-time saw Blyth equalise and take the lead with goals from Daniel Maguire and Neal Hooks.

Despite chances in the second half, Chorley failed to find an equaliser.

And in the 82nd minute, Danny Parker made it 3-1 to rub salt in the Chorley wounds and condemn the Victory Park outfit to their first league defeat in seven games.

The Magpies had started strongly, neatly stringing numerous passes together.

And the clever passing gained its reward when Dale Whitham threaded a ball through to skipper Andy Teague, whose cross fizzed across goal and hit debutant Utterson, who turned the ball back into the back of hos own net.

Chorley’s dominance was evident at this stage and it needed Conor Grant, playing in place of former Sunderland goalkeeper Michal Misiewicz in the Blyth goal, to produce an excellent save from a Whitham volley just after the half-hour mark.

Whitham was soon in the action again as the midfielder carried the ball into the area.

Just as he was about to unleash a shot, he was bundled over but referee Kevin Mulraine waved away the claims for a penalty away,much to the disgust of the 100 travelling Chorley fans.

Then just a minute before half-time, Blyth found themselves level.

Former Hibernian midfielder Lewis Horner took the ball to the edge of the area and his neat through ball found its way to Oldham Athletic trialist Dan Maguire, who finished well in the bottom left hand corner despite pressure from Keil O’Brien.

Then 30 seconds later, Blyth were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the penalty area after a needless foul by Paul Woolcott.

Hooks stepped up and curled the ball into the top right-hand corner to give Blyth a 2-1 lead at the break.

Chorley were dealt a big blow when Teague had to be withdrawn at half-time due to a groin injury.

But five minutes into the second half, they could have been level but Nathan Buddle bravely blocked a Jake Cottrell volley on the line.

Robbie Dale then forced Sam Ashton into a smart save at his near post.

Jack Dorney then found himself clear and his cross fell at the feet of Josh Hine, but his effort was magnificently blocked on the line by the sprawling Grant.

Chorley continued to press but they struggled to dominate like they did in the first half.

Then after a spell of pressure, Blyth grabbed a vital third goal and sealed a fine victory with some fans saying it was their biggest scalp of the season.

After persistent closing from Dale, Mark Ross was forced to concede a corner.

And from the resulting set-piece, Parker rose was left unmarked and sent a powerful into the back of the net.

The hosts closed the game out with minimal fuss meaning Chorley missed the chance to go top-of-the-table as rivals Skelmersdale United’s fixture against Trafford was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Chorley return to Victory Park this Saturday as they take on Stamford, kick-off 3pm.

Chorley: Ashton, Ross, Jarvis, Teague (Walmsley 45), O’Brien, Cottrell (Roscoe 83), Hine (Mather 69), Woolcott, Dean, Whitham, Dorney . Subs not used :Grundy (gk), Vermiglio