Chorley 0, Brackley Town 0

Chorley manager Matt Jansen
Chorley manager Matt Jansen
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A gritty, much improved performance by Chorley ended league leaders Brackley’s 100 per cent record and left the ‘Saints’ still seeking their first win over the Magpies after seven National League North meetings.

The game was far from a spectacle of entertainment with Matt Jansen’s men determined to end a frustrating run of four matches without a victory since the opening-day success at Kidderminster.

They did not quite achieve that but did enough to spike Brackley’s guns and restore some of the self-belief recently lacking.

Matt Urwin in the home goal was the busier of the two keepers, distinguishing himself with a fine double-save early on as Brackley showed their attacking potential with neat play down the left.

Then Urwin did well to turn aside at his near post a venomous strike from Shane Byrne.

The main goal-threat ended there. Chorley created only the odd half-chance, Saints’ keeper Danny Lewis just beating the typically industrious Marcus Carver to a through-ball and later Paul Jarvis having a quickly-taken volley charged down by the strong visitors’ defence.

The Magpies, whose own defending became more assured with young Rochdale loanee Isaac Ward impressing on debut, enjoyed territorial supremacy for much of the second half as Brackley raids became intermittent, but the hosts failed to open up a heavily-manned defence and Lewis was not seriously troubled.

Chorley’s best effort was a 20-yards’ drive by Josh Wilson which cleared the bar with something to spare.

Matt Jansen is going to have to find more fire-power from somewhere if the Magpies are to be seriously ompetitive in what is clearly a stronger division this season. The Chorley boss, however, was full of praise for his side’s display.

“We needed to go back to the basics today and be more like what we were last season – aggressive, robust, together and difficult to beat,” Jansen pictured left, said.

“We were all of that and I am proud of the players’ display against a very good side.”

CHORLEY ; Urwin, Challoner, Jarvis (O’Keefe,73), Teague, Ward, Charnock (Kearney, 86), Blakeman, Whitham, Carver, Wilson, Cottrell. Unused subs. Walker, Roscoe, Hughes.

Attendance 732.