Brackley Town 1, Chorley 1
Chorley returned from Brackley Town with a point but the draw did little to satisfy either side.
The Magpies failed to end a six-games winless run on the road, while the hosts – deeply mired in the battle to avoid relegation – desperately needed to win this one.
On the balance of play, especially in the second half, Chorley would have been value for three points but once again lack of steadiness in converting chances restricted their reward. Brackley came into the match on a decent run of form with just one defeat in seven and a defence boasting four clean-sheets.
And for over an hour, after banking a goal on 20 minutes, they looked capable of claiming three priceless points. But they failed to press home their advantage, defended deeper and deeper after the break and were not surprisingly undone by a Chorley equaliser after 69 minutes.
Glen Walker fired Brackley in front, curling a low shot past Sam Ashton after Andy Teague’s attempt to block a cross saw the ball fall kindly for him inside the box.
The Magpies had a quick chance to equalise when Courtney Meppen-Walter picked out Darren Stephenson but after cutting inside the striker shot past the post. Five minutes before the interval, Jake Cottrell’s fierce 25-yard drive flew narrowly over the bar.
Smart approach play by Chorley set up a shooting chance for Paul Jarvis early in the second half but he was well off-target and the visitors had to wait until the 69th minute to draw level. Jarvis, whose accurate set-piece deliveries were a feature throughout, whipped in a corner which Teague at the near post directed beyond the keeper with the aid of a deflection off Brackley’s Richard Batchelor.
The main question now was whether the Magpies could go on to win and Stephenson fashioned a clear chance with a deft turn on the edge of the box only to pull his shot wide of the post.
Kieran Charnock then got on the end of a long Jarvis free-kick but headed over the bar. There was a late scare for Chorley when David Moyo met a left-wing centre but blazed a first-time shot high over. CHORLEY : Ashton, Ross, Beesley, Teague, Charnock, Meppen-Walter (Roscoe,84), Jarvis, Lynch (Connerton,51), Evans, Stephenson, Cottrell. Unused subs. Dorney, Correia, Cookson. Attendance : 325.