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Stalemate frustrates Chorley at Victory Park

Action from Chorley's draw with Chester (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Action from Chorley's draw with Chester (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Chorley 0 Chester 0

As a spectacle, this all-ticket match failed to live up to its billing as the two sides doggedly succeeded in stifling their opponents’ attacking ambitions.

Few clear-cut shooting chances were created by either side and the respective goalkeepers were called upon to make only one serious save.

An aerial duel at Victory Park  (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

An aerial duel at Victory Park (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

But the tension, the determination not to lose was abundantly in evidence throughout, as injury-hit Chester set up a defensive screen and frustrated the Magpies at every turn.

The result was that for the first time this season Chorley failed to score and dropped points at Victory Park.

Perhaps crucially, the Magpies’ attacking options were reduced after 17 minutes when Louis Almond was forced off through injury and his valuable hold-up play was much missed thereafter. Chester looked sharper going forward in the opening half but failed to hit the target from a couple of decent openings, from one of which the tricky Craig Mahon fired over the bar from a deflected right-wing centre.

Chorley tested Grant Shenton just once when the keeper dived to fist aside a goal-bound Josh O’Keefe header. As the interval approached Matt Challoner missed the chance of the match.

The Magpies try to break through the Chester defence  (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

The Magpies try to break through the Chester defence (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Following great inter-play by Josh Wilson and Elliot Newby on the left wing, Challoner was left with a free shot from eight yards but blazed wastefully wide.

Challoner just failed to connect with a teasing low cross minutes after the restart and in Chorley’s brightest spell of the match Newby had a good effort blocked in the six-yards’ box, Adam Blakeman firing the half-clearance over the bar.

Marcus Carver looked to have finally put the Magpies in front with a coolly-taken header only for the celebrations among home fans in a fine crowd of 2,028 to be cut short by an offside flag.

Although the home defence was now generally denying Chester a clear sight of goal, Urwin kept the hosts on terms with a superb save, flinging himself to his left to turn aside a point-blank effort from substitute Deane Smalley.

The same player then wasted a second opportunity to snatch a late winner with a free but off-target header.

Manager Jamie Vermiglio refused to be downbeat afterwards.

“It was one of the toughest games we’ve had,” he said. “But in the end we are happy with a point.

“Chester are on a good run of form and they set their stall out to frustrate us very successfully, so they deserve credit for that.

“We are still unbeaten, we’ve kept another clean-sheet and we are still in a very favourable position.’

CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Meppen-Walters, Wilson, O’Keefe, Carver, Almond (Cottrell 17), E.Newby. Subs (not used): Anson, Whitham, Fletcher, Eccles.