Chorley 2-0 Blyth Spartans
Blyth Spartans were dealt a huge blow to their faltering playoffs hopes as they fell to a 2-0 defeat against playoff rivals Chorley on Saturday.
It was Spartans sixth successive defeat and afterwards assistant manager Neal Hooks admitted that whilst their chances of reaching the play-offs was diminishing, he was not giving up all hope.
“It was disappointing to lose the game in the manner we did,” he said.
“We are still in a good position, there is still a chance, but that window is kind of narrowing.
“We have been in there all season but we just haven’t kicked on at the right time.
“We have four home games to come. What we need now is to scrape a few wins to get us over the line.”
After Saturday’s results, Blyth slipped to 10th and five points off the playoffs while the Magpies move just behind York in the standings with their promotion hopes remaining well and truly alive.
A controversial Alex Newby opener on 40 minutes gave the home side a half-time lead.
Midway through the second half, Chorley top scorer Marcus Carver doubled their lead to give them a two-goal advantage.
The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and nearly broke the deadlock on seven minutes as Carver headed from point-blank range, forcing Jameson into making a superb save as he tipped the ball onto the bar.
Damen Mullen fired over the bar for Blyth and they also had a penalty appeal when Jarrett Rivers appeared to be fouled in the box.
The turning point of the game came in the 40th minute. Rivers appeared to be upended by Andy Teague but the referee played on. The resulting play saw Carver break down the right-hand side and play a wonderful ball across the box for Newby, who fired into an open net for a 1-0 half-time lead.
Mullen and Robbie Dale both went close to getting Blyth back on level terms early in the second half
But Spartans were left to rue their early second-half dominance as Chorley took a grip of the game on 65 minutes.