CHORLEY 1 BOSTON UNITED 2: Dominant display sees the Pilgrims move into the play-off spots

Dayle Southwell.
Dayle Southwell.

Goals from Dayle Southwell and Kaine Felix saw Boston United end Chorley’s unbeaten home record in ruthless style... and move the Pilgrims up into the play-off spots.

United totally dominated this afternoon’s contest at Victory Park, where the Magpies were previously unbeaten in eight competitive matches this season.

But just like the previous week’s victory over highflying AFC Fylde, United were in no mood to respect the form guide - claiming three points which brought them level with their fourth-placed hosts in the Vanarama North standings, even if Chorley have a superior goal difference and a game in hand.

The hosts can point to the facts that they lost captain Andrew Teague to injury after just 10 minutes and keeper Danijel Nizic was forced to play almost half the match with a groin strain.

But the long and short of it is that the Pilgrims were far superior and had they taken a few more of their chances, the contest would have been wrapped up by the interval.

Greene opted to stick with the starting XI which toppled league leaders AFC Fylde seven days earlier, even if there were two enforced changes on the bench.

With Stefan Galinski joining Stalybridge Celtic on a three-month loan and Niall Doran signing a dual contract with Whitby, spaces became available for the returning strike duo of Marc Newsham and David Fallah.

United began with an attacking intent and - after two long throw-ins from Zak Mills caused some panic in the home side’s defence - Mark Jones slotted a strike beyond Danijel Nizic with 86 seconds on the clock, only for the assistant referee’s flag to deny him his first goal since his return to the club.

Chorley suffered a 10th-minute blow as injured captain Andrew Teague was unable to continue, replaced by Adam Mather.

As United continued to press for an early advantage Kaine Felix picked up Greg Tempest’s deep cross but, after cutting inside on his weaker left foot, the on-loan Burnley keeper - who tormented the Pilgrims while at Workington last season - gathered comfortably.

Dayle Southwell was the next to try his luck after latching on to Jones’ neat through ball, but Nizic was equal to the powerful strike.

The Magpies were calling for a penalty after Josh Hine tumbled in the box under pressure from Rene Steer, but referee Tom Nield was quick to turn down their appeals.

Back up the other end, Boston again went close as Scott Garner’s header sailed inches high of the mark.

The away side finally made that breakthrough in the 34th minute, Southwell meeting Felix’s perfectly-weighted cross at the back post before heading beyond the helpless Nizic from close range.

The goal was Southwell’s 11th of the season, taking his league tally into double figures.

Just seconds after the re-start the Pilgrims were almost gifted a second as Nizic’s clearance ricocheted off Felix but landed narrowly wide.

Garner went even closer to doubling the advantage from another long Mills throw, but he could only watch as his left-footed drive smashed against the Chorley crossbar.

Minutes into the second half Nizic appeared to be struggling with a groin strain, electing to pass on taking his goa kicks.

But as the hosts didn’t name a recognised keeper on the bench, the stopper soldiered on.

Felix doubled the Pilgrims’ advantage in the 55th minute with a goal which owed as much to the attacker’s pace as it did a slice of good fortune.

After sprinting onto a loose ball down the right wing he drilled a low cross-shot into the penalty area which was diverted home by defender Mark Ross at the near post.

United’s second goal killed off the game as a contest and, with a lead to protect, the Pilgrims sat further back, opting to soak up the pressure.

But that pressure failed to really come, although keeper Joel Dixon was finally called into action to make a couple of catches from deep crosses.

However, deep into stoppage time Chorley made things interesting as Ross volleyed home from a corner, the home side’s first egffort on target.

A quirk of the fixture list sees Chorley arrive in Boston for the return match next Saturday.

And with Magpies target man James Dean suspended and question marks hanging over the fitness of both Teague and Nizic, Boston will be hoping to do the double over their opponents and consolidate a place in the top five.

But one thing will be for sure, that match will by no means be as one-sided as today’s contest.

CHORLEY: Nizic, Ross, Jarvis, Teague (Mather 10), Smyth, Cottrell (Almond 58), Hine, Whitham, Dean, Winter, Dorney (Stephenson 52); Subs (not used): Lynch, Roscoe.

UNITED: J. Dixon, Mills, Steer, K. Dixon, Garner, Piergianni, Marrs, Tempest (Marshall 77), Southwell (Fallah 85), Jones (Thomas 77), Felix; Subs (not used): Newsham, Hollingsworth.

Ref: Tom Nield.

Att: 1,114.