Stockport County 0, Chorley 0

Matt Jansen

Matt Jansen

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Another solid defensive display earned Chorley a valuable point against play-off-chasing rivals Stockport at Edgeley Park.

The draw was worth more to the Magpies than to County who were thus unable to reduce the four-point gap which separates the teams.

And with none of their closest rivals winning, the point puts Chorley level with both Salford and Kidderminster on 59, but 11 behind leaders Fylde who also drew at Harrogate.

On a heavy pitch this was never going to be a classic and so it proved with relatively few clear-cut close-range chances, though County’s shoot-on-sight policy enabled Ritchie Branagan in the Chorley goal to show once again his shot-stopping capabilities.

In contrast the visitors mustered very few shot at goal, particularly in a barren second half when resolute defending stifled Stockport’s best efforts.

The Magpies’ uncompromising approach won them few friends among the County faithful in an excellent crowd of 4,073 and the card-count against Chorley of five yellows and a red for Kieran Charnock, on receiving a second caution in added time, was indicative of a ruthless pursuit of a first clean-sheet in six games.

Adam Blakeman fired Chorley’s best shot on the half-hour from some 20 yards only to see it skim the bar and earlier Robbie McDaid fashioned a chance but shot straight at Ben Hinchliffe.

At the other end Branagan was alert to palm aside a quickly-taken free-kick and made a second fine save just before the break.

He distinguished himself midway through the second half with an acrobatic save and then dealt superbly with a free-kick.

But ultimately, though County continued to look the more dangerous, the game petered out in a stalemate to the intense frustration of the hosts

“It was a massive point for us against a good strong side,’ said boss Matt Jansen. “Our resolute performance showed why we are where we aare.”

CHORLEY: Branagan, Challoner, Jarvis, Teague, Charnock, Jordan, Blakeman, Whitham, McDaid (Walker,67), Sampson (Roscoe,90), Cottrell. Unused subs. Azam, Beesley, O’Keefe.