Saturday October 2nd
The Magpies recorded a quick league double over a Durham side that made Garry Flitcrofts team fight all the way.
Following last week’s five-nil score line between the two side at the Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium, today was always going to be a tough trip as the hosts tried to avenge the previous reversal, and indeed it took until the second half for the Magpies to break the deadlock.
Jack Dorney and Wayne Maden both had half chances early on, Chris Simm blasted a free-kick over and Tom Ince saw another set piece turned around the post by the home keeper Lewis Graham.
Durham then had two chances. First a drive from 20 years went narrowly wide and soon after a shot was deflected clear from a right wing cross. Chris Simm broke on the counter attack for the Magpies, but his shot was also deflected clear.
The best chance of the half fell to Dorney, who was very unlucky to see a delicate chip rebound back off the bar.
Before the break, Aaron Grundy made a fantastic block save, and captain Maden won another header in the box, but Graham tipped it over the bar.
Into the second half and Durham almost took the lead, but Grundy was in fine form and denied the home side.
The breakthrough came when Mark Houghton headed to Jack Dorney, who’s cross was hammered at goal by Tom Ince, but his shot only half blocked by the defence and Chris Simm made no mistake to bag the opener.
The second came when Dale Whitham played the ball through to substitute Shelton Payne, on for Houghton. He sped into the box and laid the ball back to Ince, whose pinpoint cross to Dorney made the midfielders job easy as he side footed home for his thirteenth goal of the campaign.
Grundy then again denied the hosts, this time making a perfect tackle outside his box.
Graham got the better of Simm on a one-on-one, before Grundy again saved well as he looked for his fifth clean sheet of the season.
Jordan Stepien, stepping up his recovery from injutry, came on for the last few minutes and created the third goal with a cross that Dorney squared Simm who grabbed his second of the day and third against Durham in a week.
With Witton Albion in FA Trophy action, this victory means the Magpies regained top spot from the Wincham Park outfit briefly headed the table while the Magpies were without a game, and ensured we extended the excellent statistic of completing each league fixture so far this season as league leaders.
Starting XI: Aaron Grundy, Lee Woodyatt, Tom Walker, Wayne Made, Andy Russell, Dale Whitham, Jack Dorney, Steve Flitcroft, Chris Simm, Mark Houghton, Tom Ince
Subs: Shelton Payne (Houghton, 56), Jordan Stepien (Ince, 87), Matt Jansen, Mark Ross, Nathan Fairhurst
Goals: CHRIS SIMM (53), JACK DORNEY (62), CHRIS SIMM (90)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Chris Simm, two goals well deserved by his performances since signing.