Neither side left the World Of Smiles Stadium as the sponsors would suggest following a 1-1 draw between Chorley and Gloucester at Cheltenham writes Elliott Walsh.
The Magpies went into the game looking to close the nine point gap to the play-off spots and for their third successive victory, against a Gloucester side sat four places below them in the table. New signing Courtney Meppen-Walter went straight into Matt Jansen's squad with a place on the bench.
Those with a good short-term memory will remember that the two sides met just a fortnight ago at Victory Park with Gloucester emerging as winners, and it was the 'home' side, still residing at Cheltenham following the flooding of their Meadow Park ground, who made the brighter start. Lewis Hall's cross from the left hand side was met by Bobbie Dale. The striker had made a dangerous run to the near post but he could only head wide of Ashton's goal.
It took a while for Chorley to get into the game, but when they did it was Darren Stephenson who produced a fine acrobatic effort from close range only to denied by an equally impressive stop from Gloucester keeper Jas Singh.
It was to the the home side who registered the first goal of the game. After Andy Teague clumsily bundled over Bobbie Dale, the Gloucester striker having to be carried off on a stretcher, Billy Jones fired a spot kick straight down the middle of the goal beating Ashton and putting his side into a goal lead.
But the lead didn't last for long. The country is being told to brace itself for Storm Jake at the moment and Gloucester looked to be feeling the full force of Chorley's own Jake Cottrell. Some neat play between him and Stephenson, led to Cottrell drilling in a cross from the left before Stephenson fired home from 18 yards on his weaker left foot.
Both sides had chances before the end of the first 45, which by now had been extended to 50 minutes following the I hey of Dale. Billy Jones looked to double his and Gloucester's tally with a long range effort that was comfortable for Sam Ashton. At the other end Stephenson breezed past three defenders, leaving them trailing but his cross was straight into the arms of Singh.
The substitute for the stricken Dale, Joe Parker, had a golden chance right on the stroke of half time, but he couldn't connect properly with the ball following a very good piece of defending from Teague.
The second half was a more tense affair. A half time deluge made the pitch very heavy, particularly considering two sides regularly play on it. Neither side was able to create much and it took 18 minutes for the first chance. A long range effort from Hall which skidded into Ashton's midriff.
It took a set piece for Chorley to create their first chance of the half. Whitham curled in a free kick perfectly onto the head of Connerton, but like his opposite number had earlier on in the game he headed just wide.
If a goal was to come in the remaining 15 minutes then it was going to involve Darren Stephenson. He had put in another impressive display and when he beat Jones down the left his cross to Connerton looked to have produced a winning goal but for a perfectly timed challenge from Mike Green.
And it was Darren again causing problems on the right hand side. He cut inside and curled a shot from a narrow angle in his left which cannoned off the bar and out for a goal kick.
That was the be the closest either side came to a winning goal. A draw probably a fair result but one which does neither side any favours.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Paul Jarvis, Andy Teague, Keil O'Brien, Adam Roscoe, Jack Lynch, Dale Whitham, Jordan Connerton, Darren Stephenson, Jake Cottrell
Subs: Keiran Charnock, Tom Field, Jack Dorney, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Vinny Bailey
Goals: Billy Jones (36, penalty), DARREN STEPHENSON (39)