Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Chorley 0
Chorley’s seventh draw from 14 National League games earned high praise from Daggers’ boss and former England boss Peter Taylor after his side were made to work hard to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games.
The Magpies were indeed full value for their point – they had 18 attempts on goal – and so easily could have won but for a missed penalty.
“Chorley played some good football, were well organised and deserve a lot of credit for their performance,” said Taylor.
“They are definitely far better than a bottom-of-the-table team and we did very well to keep a clean sheet.”
Magpies manager Jamie Vermiglio rang the changes in his starting line-up following Tuesday’s lacklustre performance against Barrow, with strikers Marcus Carver and Chris Holroyd both left on the bench along with Alex Newby and Josh O’Keefe.
There was a welcome return in goal after his two-month injury-absence for Matt Urwin, while new signing Nortel Nortey (ex-Dover) made his full debut.
Nortey was soon in the picture with a fine strike following enterprising build-up play but keeper Elliot Justham managed to hold onto the shot.
Then Courtney Meppen-Walter’s drive following a corner flew just too high.
Dagenham gradually came much more into the game without succeeding in seriously testing Urwin.
It was Chorley again at the start of the second half who threatened a goal, Justham pulling off a smart save from N’tumba Massanka.
As the hour-mark approached, Urwin’s first major intervention was to deny Joe Quigley from a well-timed header.
As play switched from end to end, Meppen-Walter fired a rocket shot which Justham tipped round the post.
The pivotal moment of the match arrived on 71 minutes. The Daggers’ Luke Croll upended Massanka in the box, earning a second yellow card and dismissal.
But Chorley’s frustrating sequence of misses from the penalty spot continued as Justham, diving to his left, pulled off a great save from Meppen-Walter’s kick.
The game could have gone either way in the closing minutes.
Jake Cottrell was inches wide with a well-struck snap-shot before Urwin saved the Magpies with a brilliant stop deep into added time following a corner resulting from substitute Mark Ross’s superb goal-saving header.
Vermiglio did not hide his disappointment at not winning the game.
“Although we would have taken the draw beforehand, we played well and had a real opportunity to win the match,” he said.
“I have to be honest, I turned away and didn’t watch the penalty – we had to score.”
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (Ross 70), Meppen-Walter, E Newby, Cottrell, Dodds (Carver 76), Baines, Nortey, Massanka (A Newby 82). Subs (not used): O’Keefe, Holroyd.