Telford are beaten by play-off chasers
AFC Telford United’s unbeaten run ended at six matches as they succumbed by a solitary goal to play-off-chasing Chorley last night.
Kevin Wilkin made two changes to his team, with Luke Rowe – whose arrival in the side had coincided with that unbeaten sequence – and Nottingham Forest loanee Lewis Salmon absent through injury.
The Bucks spent most of the first half on the defensive, as Chorley probed and tested their backline for weaknesses.
A succession of corners were dealt with, not always convincingly, as Wilkin’s side worked hard to stay in the game.
Telford had their best opportunity when a cross from the right was headed, off target, by Jamie Allen and Adam Livingstone reacted quickest to reach the ball at the near post and smash a shot goalwards that Matt Urwin, briefly a Buck in the 2016/17 season, parried to safety.
Just as Telford might have thought they’d ridden out the storm, the Magpies took the lead.
Deep into one minute of injury time, Justin Johnson outjumped Livingstone, who lost his awareness of where the ball was, and Johnson broke into space on the right to square the ball across the penalty area. The Bucks managed to block a couple of efforts but conceded a corner, and from the delivery, defender Harvey Smith found the ball at his feet at the far post and struck the ball high into the roof of the net.
In the second half, the Bucks were indebted to goalkeeper Joe Young. He kept them in the contest with a series of fine saves, standing up tall and closing the angles well, particularly from Jon Ustabasi, with whom he engaged in a duel.
He was beaten when Connor Hall, brother of Chelsea player Lewis, struck the crossbar when you expected the net to ripple, and that let-off allowed the Bucks to apply some late pressure.
Substitute Montel Gibson tried his luck, eager to shoot, but the Bucks couldn’t break through and are now 11 points from safety.
Telford: (5-3-2) Young, Livingstone, O’Brien (Reid 75), Flowers, Evans (Piggott 84), Nolan, Ekpolo, Daniels, Moore, Allen, Blissett (Gibson 62). Subs not used: Bood, Green.
Chorley: Urwin, Nolan, Smith, Wilson, Blakeman (Leather 84), Whitehouse, Calveley, Tomlinson (Sampson 77), Johnson (Henley 77), Hall, Ustabasi. Subs not used: Shenton, Britton.