AFC TELFORD UNITED
Chorley had to battle hard for a point after a controversial red card seconds into the second half reduced the Magpies to ten men with Marcus Carver dismissed.
In the first action following the restart Carver jumped for an aerial challenge with Dwayne Samuels and looked to have won the ball; but stand-in referee Anthony Tankard declared the challenge a straight red offence and Marcus was banished to the changing room.
The decision, which the club will appeal against at the earliest opportunity, completely changed the complexion of the game after a tight first half.
Left-back Will Beesley burst through in the second minute to get into the end of a through ball, but ballooned his shot over the bar and three minutes later the home side created a half chance, but Sam Ashton wasn’t tested.
Clear openings were few and far between with the Magpies defence dominating the host’s front line, while Carver and Jason Walker where often crowded out at the other end.
Adam Blakeman should have done better with a free-kick on the quarter-hour mark, but the Telford wall did its job.
Ashton got his cloves dirtied on 25 minutes when he made a routine save to deny Connor McCarthy, then following Sam’s clearance Matt Challoner, Dale Whitham, Carver and Walker all combined but Beesley’s finishing again let him down.
Four minutes from the interval Chorley had three shots in quick succession blocked as Walker and then Challoner twice saw efforts charged down.
So at the interval with the visitors edging the contest on points the second half was well poised, until Mr Tankard’s intervention, then it became a backs to the wall effort for a little under 49 minutes.
Walker became a lone striker, but this gave the Telford defence more time and space to support their midfield and for long periods it was attack v defence. But I challenge anyone to name a defensive unit in English football better equipped to handle this sort of situation at the moment than the Magpies back line?
Telford, as expected, dominated possession, but time and again they found themselves in the football equivalent of a cul-de-sac and on the rare occasion Telford got through Sam was on top form.
Ten minutes into the second period and following a home corner, three attempts at goal were repelled, with Ashton the third saving on his line.
Paul Jarvis was introduced on the hour mark, replacing Beesley as a precaution.
Captain Andy Teague pulled off the tackle of the day on 65 minutes; his timing was impeccable to dispossess an attacker deep inside the penalty box, and from this he sprang a Chorley counter attack with Walker breaking forward and crossing to Jake Cottrell, but the side-footed effort looped harmlessly over the bar.
Blakeman then ran from the half-way line to the edge of the box with the ball, but failed to test the home keeper, then at the other end Ashton was called into action to tip a header from a corner over the bar.
Sam’s next save was almost also an assist. His punched clearance being helped on by Challoner to Walker who attempted to lob the keeper from the halfway line, but home keeper James Montgomery gathered easily.
On 82 minutes Sam pulled off another top save, pushing clear a shot from the edge of the box from home debutant Jordan Sangha.
At the final whistle the home sides frustration at not converting numerical advantage into three points was obviously but it was a hard earned and richly deserved point for the visitors.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Matt Challoner, Will Beesley, Andy Teague, Scott Leather, Kieran Charnock, Adam Blakeman, Dale Whitham, Marcus Carver, Jason Walker, Jake Cottrell
Subs: Sefton Gonzales (Walker, 83), Paul Jarvis (Beesley, 60), Josh O’Keefe, Adam Roscoe, Jack Lynch
Red Card: Marcus Carver (46)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Sam Ashton, when called upon was outstanding