Matt Jansen’s first competitive game failed to go to place and a slow starting Magpies give themselves a mountain to climb after visiting Boro were gifted an early two goal lead.
A second half onslaught faulted to bring the result that it deserved, but there were positives to be had from the game.
Starting with what on paper was a traditional 4-4-2 formation, it was in fact more often than not 4-2-4 due to the very attack minded wide men, and this was the Magpies undoing early on with Boro playing 3-5-2, they dominated the midfield early on and made full use the numerical advantage in the opening half an hour or so.
The opening goal was as much great delivery as poor defending, with Joe Maguire rising unmarked in the area to nod in from a corner.
Boro then went looking for a second, pressing the Magpies back for long spells while the hosts were limited to rare forays forward with last season’s top scorer James Dean going closed with a header from a Mark Ross delivery.
Aaron Williams headed wide, Shane Byrne shot from distance and then Sam Ashton denied Williams in a one -on-one, before at the third attempt Williams found the back of the net, slotting home on 34 minutes following excellent build up play.
This goal sparked a change in the Magpies; not on formation, but in determination and the deficit was reduced five minutes before the break. Marcus Carver superbly headed in from a difficult angle off a Josh Hine cross following an excellent pass to Hine from Dean.
After the interval it was almost all one way traffic; Chorley searching for a leveller while Nuneaton were happy to soak up the pressure.
On 54 minutes a moment of controversy passed when Boro captain Joe Maguire, who had already picked up a yellow card in the first half, fouled Dean on the edge of the box. Somehow the referee deemed the offence only worthy of a talking too, but had the offending player not already been on a caution then surely a yellow card would have been shown.
The player though remained on the pitch, the free-kick came to nothing and minutes later Maguire mad a goal line clearance to deny Hine the equalisers… That’s football folks!
Chorley continued to press forward, but were open to the counter attack, and with former Premier League striker Marlon Harewood waiting for an opportunity the back five had to be on their guard and the guard slipped 13 minutes from time when David Morgan finished from a half volley following a free-kick from Maguire (yes that man again!)
To their credit, heads didn’t drop and the home side continued to attack and got a deserved goal back when Hine slotted in from close range on 86 minutes, but it should have been more than a consolation goal as pressure wasn’t turned into enough goal scoring opportunities.
To rub salt into the wound, Chorley finished the game with ten men as captain Andy Teague had to come off in the final minutes after turning his ankle after all three subs had already been used and must be a doubt for Tuesday night’s trip to North Ferriby.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Adam Dodd, Andy Teague, Matty Flynn, Sam Sheridan, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Marcus Carver, Chris Almond
Subs: Darren Stephenson (Almond, 66), Adam Roscoe (Sheridan, 58), Keiran Charnock, Lewis Guy (Dean, 79), Paul Jarvis
Goals: Joe Maguire (6), Aaron Williams (34), MARCUD CARVER (39), David Morgan (77), JOSH HINE (86)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Marcus Carver