Magpies are still unbeaten

Chorley goalkeeper Sam Ashton made some important saves

Chorley goalkeeper Sam Ashton made some important saves

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Oxford City 0 Chorley 0

Chorley maintained their unbeaten start to the Conference North season, recording a second successive shut-out away from home – but in the end it was a very close call.

In a less-than-convincing display, the Magpies were repeatedly stretched to contain a technically-gifted City side who themselves have yet to concede a goal in three games.

Chorley’s task in holding out under strong pressure in the later stages was made more difficult by the straight red card shown to Harry Winter on 75 minutes, the midfielder guilty of denying a goal-scoring opportunity to Brazilian Felipe Barcelo.

Keeper Sam Ashton crucially rescued Chorley with two outstanding second-half saves.

First, he athletically tipped over a stinging Tom Winter free-kick flying towards the top corner and then, with three minutes to go, he pulled off a smart reflex save at the back post when the impressive Winter seemed set to score from close range as he connected first-time with a raking low centre.

Earlier Ashton had to race well out of his goal to clear an ill-judged back-pass by substitute Darren Stephenson delivered from beyond the halfway line.

A previously cagey first period had been enlivened by a double escape for the visitors on the half-hour.

Ashton got down well to hold a drilled drive from Lewis Wilson but was then was caught in two minds as he dashed out to deal with a dangerous through-ball.

And Adam Dodd rescued the Magpies with a well-timed block-tackle as Javier Rodriguez shaped to shoot into the vacant net.

Meanwhile, AFC Fylde slipped to a second successive Conference North defeat at Lowestoft Town.

Shaun Bammant scored the only goal of the game on 28 minutes, tapping in from close range and his side were able to hold out.