Chorley 2, Southport 2: Magpies FA Cup hopes dented by Southport's comeback
Chorley’s hopes of progressing to the third qualifying round of the FA Cup were stifled as Southport staged a stirring second-half fightback to wipe out a two-goal half-time deficit and fully deserve their replay.
In fact, on the balance of chances created, the Sandgrounders could have won this hotly-contested local ‘derby’ at the first attempt.
Chorley raced into a fourth-minute lead when Jacob Blyth’s headed flick-on sent Connor Hall clear through a gaping defence to coolly lift the ball beyond
Cameron Mason but there was a scare for the hosts when Jack Doyle’s cross bounced on the bar with keeper Matt Urwin beaten.
The visitors should have equalised on 24 minutes when a quick break led to JoshHmami teeing up Connor Woods, completely unmarked, but he unaccountably shot wide from 10 yards with only Urwin to beat.
The visitors’ overall height-advantage and Doug Tharme’s long-throws were a constant threat and from one such launch Adam Blakeman had to clear off the Chorley line at the far post.
The Magpies went two up on the half-hour when Blyth challenged Mason for a through-ball and it ricocheted kindly for the home striker, leaving him to roll it into an empty net.
Undeterred, Southport kept plugging away up to the break, Jack Bainbridge stinging Urwin’s hands with a fierce low drive, and they were rewarded just three minutes after the resumption when Woods found the bottom corner with a well-struck low drive.
Urwin saved well from a Woods free-kick and with Chorley now restricted to the odd breakaway, it was no real surprise when Marcus Carver delivered the blow to his old club’s cup hopes with an equaliser four minutes from time, beating Urwin to a low centre and forcing the ball just inside the near post.
Only a sharp reflex save by Urwin from substitute Niall Watson prevented the visitors from snatching victory in added time.
The teams will now meet again at Haig Avenue in the replay tomorrow before locking horns a third time at the same venue in the National League North on Saturday.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Henley, Leather, Calveley, Blakeman Tomlinson (Okome, 61), Baines, Shenton, Whitehouse, Blyth, Hall. Unused subs. Spencer-McDermott, Scarborough, Birchall, Aspinall.
SOUTHPORT : Mason, Oliver, Doyle (J.), Anson, Tharme (Watson, 79), Woods (Munro, 89), Carver, Doyle (C.), Hmami, Vassallo, Bainbridge. Unused subs. Buckley-Rickets, McMillan.
Support us and become a subscriber today. Enjoy unlimited access to local news, the latest football stories and new puzzles every day. With a digital subscription, you can see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Click here to subscribe.