Ten-men Chorley came within minutes of snatching a National League shock victory over promotion-chasing Yeovil Town.
There were 88 minutes on the clock when Marc Richards scrambled an equaliser for the Glovers after Chorley’s scorer Connor Hall had been harshly dismissed with just over a quarter of an hour to play.
It was a very brave show by the Magpies who held on tenaciously to the lead given them by the Bolton loanee on the stroke of half-time with what was the visitors’ first real attempt on goal.
And it was stubborn, well-organised defensive work which looked like seeing Chorley over the line until Richards’ late intervention.
Yeovil failed to capitalise on a series of first-half chances but the alertness of keeper Matt Urwin played a huge part in keeping the hosts at bay.
Rhys Murphy was gifted an early opportunity but left clear on goal, his lob beyond Urwin dropped just wide of the post.
Then Urwin pulled off a tremendous reflex save at point-blank range to tip over a Richards’ header.
Just after the half-hour mark Murphy was given a golden chance to finally open the scoring but he snatched at a loose ball inside the box and fired wastefully over the bar.
Five minutes before the interval that man Urwin again denied the hosts, this time plunging to palm aside a stinging drive from Myles Hippolyte – a remarkable save.
Lady Luck appeared to be on Chorley’s side when Murphy turned inside Courtney Meppen-Walter and went to ground, apparently clipped by the defender. It looked odds-on a penalty but the referee booked the home striker for simulation.
If it had seemed one-way traffic, in terms of goal threat it was – but as so often happens Yeovil were made to pay in first-half added time.
A clever ball over the top from Martin Smith released Hall who with remarkable composure stroked a lovely finish across keeper Liam O’Brien and into the net.
There was an almost immediate escape for the Magpies after the break when Carl Dickinson’s free-kick cannoned off the crossbar, soon after which Urwin pulled off another fine save from Hippolyte.
Chorley fashioned a chance of their own but Alex Newby, sent through on goal, was thwarted by a covering defender who got across just in time to prevent Newby from getting his shot away.
Newby then came very close with a wonderful free-kick from distance which O’Brien in brilliant style tipped over the bar.
Yeovil rang the changes as their desperation increased and they had four strikers on the pitch for the last 20 minutes.
With some eighteen minutes to go, Hall was shown a second yellow card for what seemed an innocuous challenge, the decision triggering a furious reaction from the Chorley players.
But the Magpies showed all their resilient quality in defending calmly, restricting Yeovil to a few speculative efforts, and they were hard done by when Richards got the vital touch in a late goalmouth scramble to nudge the ball beyond Urwin.
Manager Jamie Vermiglio was full of praise for his team.
“We were immense today,” he said.
“We rode our luck at times but the boys ran themselves into the ground and defended like Trojans.
“The sending-off did for us because we were controlling the game at that stage and weren’t giving them many opportunities.”
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Meppen-Walter, A Newby, O’Keefe (Baines 83), Ross, Cottrell, Smith, Duxbury, Kay, Hall. Subs (not used): Blakeman, E Newby, Nortey, Holroyd.