After going four games without a win Chorley needed today’s victory to put their title assault back on track. Keil O’Brien’s first goal of the season was the minimum Chorley deserved against Worksop Town, who presented potentially the toughest challenge of the season so far.
With the league’s leading scorer Leon Mettam alongside giant Tom Denton, the Worksop forward line had only been blunted once in the league this season so far while netting an impressive 97 goals in 34 games. However their emphasis on attack often leaves them vulnerable at the back with their goal being breached on 71 occasions.
Garry made changed to freshen up the line-up with Jamie Vermiglio, Jack Dorney and James Dean all starting and for long spells Chorley took the game to the Tigers and should have won by a more convincing margin than a single goal.
Dale Whitham almost got Chorley off to a flyer when his in swinging seventh minute corner caught everyone out as it bounced off the bar, the five minutes later it was Worksop’s turn to shoot when a Chris Salt effort was deflected wide off O’Brien.
In the 18th minute Paul Woolcott, given a more advanced role today, won a free-kick some 30 yards from goal. From Whitham’s delivery Andy Teague nodded down and O’Brien stabbed home from six yards to put the Magpies in front.
Chorley pressed for a second and Chris Almond saw an effort cleared off the line following a James Dean chest-down then at the other end Sam Ashton was called into action for the first time on 24 minutes when he saved well from Conor Higginson.
Leon Mettam, with 34 goals on his tally already this season, went close then both Dean and Whitham just missed a teasing Almond cross.
James Dean then went close with two great chances; heading against the bar then a minute later side footing narrowly over from 12 yards.
Into the second half and Worksop earned an early corner, but it came to nothing.
Jamie Vermiglio collected the first caution of the game following a rugby style tackle on Jack Muldoon to prevent a breakaway.
A Whitham appeared to be tipped wide by Jonathan Stewart in the Tigers goal, but the referee failed to notice the save and awarded a goal kick
On the hour mark Ashton was lucky when a mistimed punch trickled wide for a corner, then Dean forced a fine save from Stewart.
Darren Stephenson and Adam Roscoe where introduced in close succession.
Dean again went close when a 15 yarder on the turn flew millimetres wide of the far upright on 75 minutes.
Dean was in the thick of the action again, flicking on to Stephenson to rattled the woodwork with a little under five minutes to go then deep in injury time Stewart saved well again to deny Dean (again).
At the final whistle the news the Skelmersdale’s two year unbeaten home league record had come to an end following Grantham’s two-one victory sweetened the celebrations around Victory Park.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Paul Jarvis, Andy Teague, Keil O’Brien, Paul Woolcott, Jack Dorney, Jamie Vermiglio, James Dean, Dale Whitham, Chris Almond
Subs: Jake Cottrell (Woolcoot, 82), Adam Roscoe (Almond, 64), Darren Stephenson (Vermiglio, 72), Brandon Zibaka, Aaron Grundy
Goal: KEIL O’BRIEN (18)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Jamie Vermiglio, rolled back the years with a superb midfield performance