Dover Athletic 1 Chorley 1
Chris Holroyd’s fifth goal of the season midway through the second half ensured that the Magpies returned home with something to show from their 600-mile round-trip to the Kent coast.
Chorley had to come from behind against high-flying Dover who had Ricky Modeste – back from international duty with Greneda – to thank for the opening goal in the 13th minute of what proved to be a run-of-the-mill game of few clear-cut scoring chances.
The Magpies had the first of these when Josh O’Keefe headed over the bar from a corner and Andy Teague’s header was similarly too high, before Dover took the lead from their first real attack.
Inih Effiong slipped a pass through to Modeste who provided a cool finish beyond Billy Crellin.
But, the goal apart, Dover struggled to create first-half openings.
When Modeste returned the favour to Effiong soon after the break with a clever flick-on, his colleague shot wastefully wide.
“He’s got to score,” said home boss Andy Hessenthaler after the game. “If he does it’s game over. But to be honest we weren’t at the races today.”
Chorley kept plugging away and deservedly drew level after 67 minutes following a corner.
O’Keefe’s driven effort was saved but not for the first time this season the opportunist Holroyd was on the spot in a crowded goalmouth to tuck home the loose ball.
And after the sides had traded half-chances without ending the stalemate Chorley were very close to a winner in the dying minutes.
Subs Elliot Newby and Adam Blakeman combined effectively, Newby setting up a shot for Blakeman who got the ball past the keeper only to see a defender make a last-ditch clearance from the line.
Manager Jamie Vermiglio said: “I felt we were the more accomplished side and more likely to go on and win the game after the equaliser.”
CHORLEY: Crellin, Challoner, Baines (Blakeman 66), Teague, Leather, Meppen-Walters, A Newby (E Newby 88), O’Keefe, Carver, Holroyd (Massanka,83), Cottrell. Subs (not used): Dodds, Ross.