Magpies are held at Bay by Colwyn

Dale Whitham's shot hits the crossbar
Dale Whitham's shot hits the crossbar
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There was little excitement for the 1,000-strong crowd as Chorley were held 0-0 at home by Colwyn Bay.

The gritty visitors to Victory Park showed just why they have lost only once in 10 away league games.

Constructive football was at a premium as neither side was allowed time or room on the ball, with aerial combat all too often to the fore.

Magpies’ manager Garry Flitcroft agreed : ‘It was a difficult game.

“There wasn’t much room to play as Colwyn Bay worked very hard to close us down and were quick onto the second ball.

“But I still thought we did enough to win the match. We just needed a chance to fall for us from one of our very good set-pieces.”

Nevertheless, it was Bay who arguably had the clearer chances to nick the points but they were defied by two inspirational second half saves by Magpies’ keeper Sam Ashton.

A sterile first half was notable only for a hurried finish by Rob Hopley who poked the ball past the post from an inviting position and then for a wild shot high over by Chorley’s Chris Simm following one of the home side’s neater build-ups.

At least the second half had its moments of drama. Ashton saved Chorley on the hour with a brilliant reflex stop from Marc Williams, left with the goal at his mercy by a superbly-flighted left-wing centre to the far post.

But Ashton parried his shot at point-blank range and when Williams followed up Andy Teague headed off the line.

A double substitution gave the Magpies a better attacking shape and Bay defenders managed several desperate headed clearances inside the six-yards’ box as Chorley now applied more sustained pressure and forced a series of corners.

However, it was Ashton again to the rescue when he got down quickly to hold onto a stinging low drive from Anthony Stevens, then Hopley raced clear but under pressure from Mark Ross could only hit the side-netting.

The Magpies had two late chances to win it.

Teague’s towering header in front of goal from a searching free-kick lacked power and was scrambled clear.

Then with two minutes to go, after Jake Cottrell’s fierce drive was charged down, Dale Whitham went for power rather than placement and fired high and wide from eight yards.

Though disappointed to drop two points, Flitcroft was delighted to see his side’s unbeaten run continue: ‘We’re now unbeaten in seven games and still in a very strong position in the top four.’

CHORLEY : Ashton, Ross, Mather, Teague, Doyle, Cottrell, Lynch (Jarvis,66), Whitham, Dean, Simm (Hine,66), Stephenson. Unused subs. Jacobs, Roscoe, Grundy (g/k).

Attendance : 1,004.