Chorley 3 FC United 3
An enthralling FA Trophy second-round match in the best cup-tie tradition had a magnificent crowd of 2,254 on tenterhooks as it built to a dr
It was a story of two prolific marksmen at the top of their game, with James Dean for Chorley and Tom Greaves for United each bagging a pair of stunning goals.
The Magpies were in the box-seat at half-time, two goals up but Greaves pulled one back 12 minutes into the second half to reignite the Reds’ previously subdued challenge.
And, urged on by a 700-strong contingent behind the goal they were attacking, United turned the game on its head with two further goals to go in front with eight minutes to play.
If Garry Flitcroft’s side were shell-shocked, they did not show it and piling forward with great purpose they equalised two minutes later.
After a cagey opening, Chorley had the first clear chance only for Harry Winter to curl his shot over the bar.
But the Magpies had better fortune on 16 minutes. A clever flick by Josh Hine left Paul Jarvis free but keeper David Carnell seemed well-positioned to save his under-powered shot until it deflected off a defender and rolled into the corner of the net.
There was a scare for Chorley when keeper Sam Ashton failed to cut out a deep cross which Matt Wolfenden headed back across the face of goal for Greaves who headed just over.
Moments later in the 37th minute the Magpies went two up with a thunderous Dean strike worth the admission money alone.
It could have been three soon afterwards, Andy Teague powering a free header from a corner just over the bar.
Hine had a great chance to wrap up the tie soon after restart but as he manoeuvred the ball round Carnell a last-ditch tackle by Jerome Wright saved the day for United.
It was a crucial escape for the Reds, as two fine opportunist strikes by Greaves in the 57th and 66th minutes brought the sides level.
The goals fired United’s players and travelling army of fans and the Chorley goal had a double escape in a hectic scramble.
The mounting pressure told on 82 minutes when Wolfenden cashed in on defensive uncertainty to ghost in and cleverly flick the ball beyond the exposed Ashton. It looked as if that might be United’s ticket into the last 16 but there was to be a final dramatic twist. From a Chorley free-kick with six minutes to go, Hine headed across the box for Dean to plant a firm header beyond Carnell.