Chorley grab a point in pulsating 2-2 draw with Chester

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Chorley twice came from behind to claim a point in a typically frenetic clash with Chester, played out in a crackling atmosphere in front of a superb Tuesday-night Victory Park crowd of 1,679.

This was five-star entertainment with no quarter given by either side in a pulsating second half.

Full credit to referee Stuart Morland for keeping tight control of proceedings while still allowing the game to flow, despite a late flurry of yellow cards which took the total to six, four of them to the visitors battling to stay in the game in the second half.

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It was a different story in the first half, as the Magpies started sluggishly and could have been more than one goal down after the opening 20 minutes.

Connor Hall after making it 1-1 (photo: Stefan Willoughby)Connor Hall after making it 1-1 (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Connor Hall after making it 1-1 (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Kurt Willoughby was guilty of wasting an early clear chance with only Matt Urwin to beat, screwing his shot well wide from 15 yards.

But Chester deservedly went ahead after 16 minutes when a lovely Lewis Coulton cross was headed in at the far post by Adam Thomas.

Chorley barely had a sight of goal, faced with a well-drilled Chester defence, Ollie Shenton fluffing the best chance by shooting over the bar from Adam Henley’s inviting pull-back.

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The Magpies resumed after the break in much better mood and, after Urwin had at full stretch tipped over a snap-shot from Chester’s Danny Devine, they equalized on 51 minutes.

Shenton sent Connor Hall clear with a delightful through ball and the striker made no mistake in clipping the ball beyond Everton loanee Harry Tyrer.

The goal galvanized Chorley and Chester had to defend their penalty-box stoutly and in numbers to block a series of raids and shots on target. The closest call for the visitors was an Adam Blakeman free-kick cleared off the line.

But against the general run of play Chester regained the lead in the 76th minute. Former Magpie Darren Stephenson did the damage with a sizzling low drive from 25 yards which nestled in the bottom corner of the net, triggering a brief pitch-invasion by joyous visiting fans behind the goal.

Could Chorley find the character to respond one more time?

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Yes they could, with three minutes to go, Billy Whitehouse hanging a lovely cross towards the far post for substitute Jack Sampson to firmly head the Magpies level once more.

Neither side could then conjure the winner but it had been breathtaking stuff, with the draw (Chorley’s fifth at Victory Park this season) probably the fairest result.

CHORLEY: Urwin, Henley, Wilson, Leather, Blakeman, Whitehouse, Shenton (Sampson 65), Ustabasi, Nolan (Tomlinson 77), Calveley (Johnson 80), Hall. Subs (not used): Challoner, Owens.