Evostik Northern Premier League Premier Division
North Ferriby United 1 Chorley 0
This win means that leaders Ferriby go in to the final league match of the season knowing that victory over Ashton United next Saturday will almost certainly give them the title.
Chorley had the better of the early exchanges as they took the game to the The Villagers. Darren Stephenson missed a glorious opportunity in the first minute when he blazed Paul Jarvis's low cross wide.
Chorley were creating problems from set pieces and Ferriby were grateful to Adam Nicklin's fine diving save from Stephenson's low shot.
It took Ferriby 15 minutes to finally begin to put their game together. Liam King was unlucky to see his curling shot dip o to the top netting with Chorley keeper Jack Cudworth well-beaten.
Ferriby continued to press. Ryan Kendall hit a first time shot with his back to goal but it went over the bar., King and Anthony Wilson all going close on a number of occasions. Cudworth denied Kendall when he ran 30 yards from his goal-line to deny the strikerl as he burst through.
The loss of Wilson through injury made life difficult for Kendall and Gary Bradshaw against Chorley's tall central defenders. However, their pace and control gave the Chorley defence a torrid time all afternoon.
Ferriby finally took the lead that they probably deserved after 41 minutes. Andy Teague was penalised for holding down Mark Gray at a free-kick and Kendall stepped-up to send Cudworth the wrong way from the penalty spot.
The second-half was affected by an occasionally gusting wind that made it difficult to judge the flight of the ball. Both teams pressed forward but neither created any significant chances.
For Ferriby, Bradshaw curled a free-kick to Cudworth then King had a half-chance but the ball did not sit-up for him to fire-in a telling shot.
Cudworthhad to be alert again to beat King to Kendall's through-ball as Ferriby went in search of a clinching goal.
The loss of the injured Gregg Anderson saw Ferriby playing with only one regular central defender for the final 25 minutes but Chorley still struggled to find a way through a resolute Ferriby defence.
.Chorley depended on high balls to Adam Roscoe and Stephenson but though they won their fair share there was no real end product. Nicklin's handling under pressure of balls thrown in to the area was superb. Chorley were largely limited to strikes from outside the area.
This was hard-working and determined performance by The Villagers. On the balance of play, Ferriby deserved this win but Chorley will surely be ruing their missed chances in the first 20 minutes.
Ferriby manager Billy Heath commented, "It was a magnificent performance against a physically strong side. The whole team played well. We didn't really compete for the first 15 minutes but after that the players showed a massive desire to win. It was a great performance to keep a clean sheet. At this stage of the season it is about keeping your nerve and courage more than about football. The title is in our own hands next Saturday."
NFU: Adam Nicklin, Paul Robson, Nathan Peat, Liam King; Gregg Anderson (Steve Ridley 63), Mark Gray, Danny Clarke, Russell Fry , Anthony Wilson (Gary Bradshaw 32), Ryan Kendall, Ryan Williams(Chris Bolder 82)
Non-playing subs: Jason Stokes, Antoni Pecora
Chorley: Jack Cudworth, Mark Ross, Andy Russell (Tom Ince 70), Andy Teague, Keil O'Brien, Jamie Vermiglio (Cameron Darkwah 66), Dale Whitham, Tom Baker, Adam Roscoe, Darren Stephenson (Porya Ahmadi 77), Paul Jarvis. Non-playing subs: Tom Walker, Adam Caunce