Chorley 0, Hartlepool United 0: Encouraging signs for Magpies
Chorley were left still seeking their first win of the season after completing their third goalless draw of the campaign against a determined Hartlepool side.
Both teams gave their all in the sun-fired cauldron of Victory Park, the referee striving to lighten the burden on the players by calling for a drinks break on the half-hour.
Chances were at a premium in an untidy first half, the stand-out moment occurring on the quarter hour when Matt Challoner’s wicked low centre left N’Tumba Massanka with a simple near-post finish from three yards – but he skewed his shot wide.
The Magpies began to enjoy territorial supremacy as the half wore on and Marcus Carver fashioned an opening only to finish with a tame cross-shot which the diving Ben Killip easily gathered.
Quick thinking by Alex Newby, sprinting back after a Chorley corner, nullified a dangerous counter-attack with a crucial interception and the half ended without a single Hartlepool shot on goal.
The tempo was raised in a feisty second half. Mark Kitching was close to putting the visitors ahead when he rattled the outside of the post before Chorley enjoyed a purple patch which on another day might have produced a couple of goals.
Killip dived to tip round the post a well-placed Josh O’Keefe header and both Massanka and man-of-the-match Scott Leather saw strong shots charged down in the goalmouth.
Pools came much more into the picture in the later stages and Billy Crellin in the home goal was finally tested, back-pedalling quickly to tip over a decent effort from substitute Luke James.
With time running out, Gavan Holohan wasted a clear opportunity to win it for the visitors. Cutting in from the right, he fired wide of the near post when he should at least have brought the best out of Crellin in the home goal.
CHORLEY : Crellin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Meppen-Walters (Baines,11), A. Newby, O’Keefe (E.Newby,80), Carver, Massanka (Holroyd,77), Cottrell. Unused subs. Ross, Eccles.