Witham sinks Saints as Chorley book their play-off place

Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin saw his side slip up again at St James Park
Brackley Town boss Kevin Wilkin saw his side slip up again at St James Park

Dale Whitham’s second half winner sealed Chorley’s place in the Vanarama National League North play-offs following Wednesday’s victory at Brackley Town.

Chorley came from behind to win 2-1 at St James Park where Jimmy Armson’s first half penalty was cancelled put by Marcus Carver.

Heavy rain left the pitch with standing water and a rainbow etched its arc across St James Park prior to kick-off promising a pot of gold and more. But it was Chorley who departed with the three points having secured their play-off place.

A game of few chances between the two meanest defences in the division saw Danny Lewis make two important early saves from Carver and Alex Newby before Saints went ahead in the 17th minute. A fine move brought Matt Lowe into the area where he was felled leaving the referee in doubt as to the penalty award and Armson sent keeper Matt Urwin the wrong way from the ensuing spot-kick.

Chorley were level in the 25th minute when Carver turned and shot fiercely finding the corner of the goal as the Magpies fought back.

Saints had a couple of chances to restore their advantage before the break, Andy Brown’s header on the half-hour mark was downwards but wide from Armson’s cross. Brown’s shot was also comfortably gathered by Urwin on the stroke of halftime from Adam Walker’s pass.

The visitors went ahead shortly after the restart when Dale Whitham fired in after defensive hesitation. Manager Kevin Wilkin made a triple substitution introducing Alex Gudger after an absence of seven games, Glenn Walker and top scorer Aaron Williams.

Saints dominated possession but rarely threatened the equaliser, Shane Byrne’s long range effort was saved by Urwin. A neat move saw the ball nicked away from Byrne before four minutes of added-time failed to produce further chances.