Gloucester City 1, Chorley 1: Magpies denied victory by last-gasp equaliser
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They remain fifth but whether they can hold onto this position and so earn a home tie remains in the balance. With two games to play, York City are now only two points behind Chorley, while Boston United (five points in arrears) cannot be ruled out.
This game was a classic slow-burner, with little to enthuse the crowd in a tepid first half which saw few clear-cut chances for either side. After early City dominance, Chorley began to get on top, forcing several corners which proved unproductive.
Things livened up somewhat after the break but goalmouth excitement remained in short supply.
Brad Holmes forced City keeper Harvey Wiles-Richards to make a great save following a free-kick six minutes into the second half and it was he who put Chorley in front on 65 minutes with a brilliant header from a Billy Whitehouse cross.
Although Gloucester had more of the ball, they were well held by a resourceful Chorley defence and Matt Urwin for the most part was not seriously tested.
The introduction of City substitutes Fabien Robert and experienced striker Matt McClure for the last fifteen minutes in the end proved decisive.
Chorley had held on well to their lead but in the 93rd minute following an almighty scramble in the visitors’ goalmouth Frenchman Robert administered the coup-de-grace with a thumping half-volley from the edge of the box which found the bottom corner of the net. And as time ran out McClure could have won it for Gloucester when his flicked header flew just wide.
Chorley now face a massive test this afternoon afternoon when champions-elect Gateshead visit Victory Park needing just one point to make sure of the title. Manager Jamie Vermiglio said: “We’ll take the point and go into the last two games with a positive mindset.”
CHORLEY : Urwin, Henley, Leather, Baines, Whitehouse, Calveley, Sampson (Blyth 83), Shenton, Blakeman (Halls 42), Alli, Holmes (Carroll 85). Unused subs. bright, Hall.