Courtney class saves Magpies

Courtney Meppen-WalterCourtney Meppen-Walter
Courtney Meppen-Walter
An under-strength Chorley completed their pre-season programme with a 1-1 draw against higher-tier Wrexham.

With the Magpies missing three potentially first-choice players, the National League visitors dominated the first half with some pacy attacking play.

They might easily have had more to show for their superiority than a one-goal interval lead.

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But a brilliantly-struck free-kick on his return to Victory Park by Courtney Meppen-Walter brought the Magpies level and thereafter they made more of a contest of this entertaining game.

However, it took a fine save by Matt Urwin from an 85th-minute penalty to keep Chorley on terms.

Chris Holroyd brought a good early save out of Urwin with a well-struck drive and then the lively James Jennings fired a low cross-shot inches wide.

Holroyd had a strong shot charged down before Jennings missed a clear chance at the back post following a corner, scooping his effort over the bar.

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Apart from a Marcus Carver header over the bar from an Andy Teague centre, Chorley had made little impact on the Wrexham goal.

And it was no surprise when the visitors finally went in front on 35 minutes.

Another corner reached Manny Smith at the far post but his shot was beaten out by Urwin, the ball falling kindly for Scott Boden to score with a five-yard tap-in.

The Magpies drew level on 56 minutes when Meppen-Walter won a free-kick and gave Chris Dunn no chance with a curling strike into the top corner from 30 yards.

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Wrexham continued to create the better chances in open play and following a Jennings free-kick Smith unaccountably blazed well wide from point-blank range.

If that was a let-off, a bigger one followed five minutes from time. A great through-ball from Jennings sent sub Jack Mackreth racing into the box where he was clearly brought down. Urwin distinguished himself plunging to his left and fisting clear Ntumba Massanka’s spot-kick.

This was a good work-out for Matt Jansen’s men but there is still a need for 
better service from midfield to strikers lacking clear shooting chances.