LANCASTER CITY were left ruing their missed chances at high-flying Chorley on Tuesday night after they were edged out in a thrilling game.
The home side dominated the opening exchanges and indeed possession and territory throughout the first-half.
They took the lead on 14 minutes when John Cunliffe picked the ball up from a throw-in on the right and waltzed straight through the City back four; his finish was neat into the bottom corner.
Mike Rushton’s first missed chance was a tough one as he advanced on the ‘keeper but one he would have hoped to have dispatched.
A Dave Swarbrick shot hit Meaney and squirted into the box; Rushton reacted quickest but lifted his shot over the bar.
Before the half was out City were to see another good chance go begging as in a carbon-copy run of Chorley’s opener Meaney drove into the box but shot harmlessly for Lloyd Rigby to save.
At the other end Chorley kept the ball well and probably should have added to their lead as Martin Fearon was sparked into acrobatic action to pat away a cross-cum-shot from Tom Ince.
In an even better chance centre-back Andy Russell made a mess of Jack Duggan’s face as his powerful header from an in swinging corner struck the Fleetwood Town loanee on the line, he made an even bigger mess of the rebound and sent it well over.
After a tough first-half of being firmly on the back foot City came out fighting and dominated the early exchanges of the second 45.
Unfortunately Rushton was in the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons as former Dolly Blue captain Andrew Teague made a hash of Sam Nightingale’s flat free-kick into the box – ably assisted by Rigby in the Chorley net.
The ball fell to Rushton with the net gaping but he sent a side-footed effort over the top, in his defence it was a sharp chance but an absolute golden one.
When the Dolly Blues did level the score it was in spectacular fashion by a player with a terrific future.
A throw-in on the right-hand side was weakly headed clear by the Chorley defence and angled across the pitch.
Alex Meaney let it drop across his body before unleashing an unerring left-foot volley into the ‘keeper’s bottom right-corner.
That bit of magic sparked Chorley into the action yet again, they rediscovered their pressure and form from the first-half and pushed City on the back foot.
They, perhaps inevitably, grabbed the winner with six minutes left on the clock as Teague volleyed towards goal from a corner to spark a clumsy melee which Jamie Vermiglio eventually ended when he prodded the ball home.
It was an untidy ending to a top-notch game, one in which City’s young charges did themselves proud against a team battling with Chester for the league title.
Chorley: Rigby, Woodyatt, Walker, Teague, Russell, Vermiglio, Whitham, Flitcroft (Fitzgerald 65), Cunliffe (Payne 45), Foster, Ince (Dorney 78)
Subs not used: Roscoe, Fairhurst
Lancaster City: Fearon 7, Henry 7, Nightingale 6, Duggan 6, Marshall 6, Kenyon 8, Rushton 6 (Kenworthy 60), Farrell (Rothwell 25, 6) Swarbrick 7, Meaney 8, Hall (McKenna 82)
Referee: S Oldham
STARMAN Alex Kenyon Another outstanding performance, looks like a true central midfielder