Drab draw extends Chorley’s unbeaten run
Guiseley 0 Chorley 0
A battling performance saw Chorley extend their unbeaten run to seven games and climb into fourth in the National North table.
But as a spectacle this drab encounter was a non-event.
Creativity was in short supply on both sides as defences dominated. Magpies’ keeper Matt Urwin at least made two excellent first-half saves but Chorley failed to seriously test Lions’ keeper Brad Wade throughout, though not for lack of effort to break the deadlock.
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Jamie Vermiglio praised Guiseley’s ‘intensity’, coming into the game and they were full of confidence after a fine midweek FA Cup replay victory over Brackley.
“Our defence has done really well to keep a clean sheet but we couldn’t find our rhythm today,” he said.
“We’ve had to dig deep because once again we have not been at our best. We will need to be much better with the ball than this if we are going to challenge for the title or at least get into the play-offs.”
Urwin pulled off his two crucial saves in the first quarter of an hour as Guiseley started on the front foot.
He saved low down from the lively Regan Hutchinson and then did particularly well to keep out a fierce strike by Jacob Gratton.
But these were to prove the best efforts on goal of a very dour struggle.
The Magpies mustered a couple of first-half shots from Billy Whitehouse and Jon Ustabasi, both off-target, and when Will Tomlinson successfully cleared the defensive wall with an early second-half free-kick, the ball flew straight at Wade.
Even the introduction of a fresh strike-pair in Harry Cardwell and Millenic Alli on the hour failed to give Chorley the desired cutting-edge, though by then the hosts’ own threat had begun to fade.
With time running out, Guiseley were reduced to 10 when Prince Ekpolo was dismissed following a second caution but a goal still seemed unlikely until, with a minute, to go the Magpies came close to pinching all three points.
An inswinging corner played deep was headed back across the box by Cardwell and Mike Calveley nodded the ball just wide.
But the goalless final scoreline could not have more accurately reflected the afternoon’s proceedings.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Henley, Smith, Leather (Goodridge 67), Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Tomlinson, Ustabasi, Blyth (Cardwell 59), Hall (Alli 59). Subs (not used): Shenton, Blakeman.