Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Josh Vosper
Josh Gowling’s injury time equaliser denied the Magpies all three points on a testing day in Herefordshire.
The Bulls made one change from their New Year’s Day defeat at Kidderminster with Theo Wharton replacing George Lloyd.
The Magpies made one change from New Year’s Day, as number one goalie Matt Urwin returned from injury to replace temporary signing Tony McMillan.
Hereford: Yates; Thomas, Greenslade, Dinsley (Richards, 46′), Cullinane-Liburd (c), Gowling, Wharton (O’Sullivan, 86′), Owen-Evans, Finn (Refell, 65′), Roberts, Symons. Subs not used: Smith, Horsell.
Horsell, Green, Greenslade, Thomas, Cullinane-Liburd, McGrath, Hall, Richards, Murphy, Smith, White
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Baines, Meppen-Walter, A.Newby (Cottrell, 76′), O’Keefe, Carver (Hooper, 90’+4), Wilson (Almond, 73′), E.Newby. Subs not used: Leather, Eccles.
The opening 25 minutes belonged to the visitors without there being a real golden opportunity to score. Marcus Carver went closest when he forced Matt Yates to tip over from an acute angle.
Once the hosts got into the game they began to look dangerous and could have had two goals before half time. James Roberts failed to connect to Mike Symons’ low cross on a quick counter attack, before Jordan Cullinane-Liburd headed wide from a Kyle Finn corner.
The Bulls’ pressure continued without too many scares for The Magpies, and then just before the break Alex Newby was close to opening the scoring but his shot went wide after being brilliantly played in by Adam Blakeman.
A stuttering start to the second was blown away when Chorley took the lead on 59 minutes. Blakeman’s throw was helped on by Elliot Newby into the path of Josh O’Keefe who hammered a half volley past Yates from 12 yards.
Hereford went on the front foot thereafter, desperately searching for an equaliser. Although they initially found it tough going against The Magpies’ mean defence, their quest was helped when Louis Almond picked up a straight red with nine minutes remaining for an off the ball incident.
But just when it looked like Chorley would hold out with ease the ball fell to Josh Gowling who found the top corner from just inside the box, giving Matt Urwin no chance.
HT 0-0 / FT 1-1
Goals: Gowling (90’+6); O’Keefe (59′)
Cautions: Wilson (55′), Carver (90’+4)
Dismissals: Almond (81′)
Referee: Tom Bishop
Assistants: Gareth Davies & Tim Walker
Attendance: 2,168 (140 away fans)
Next up: Our first meeting of the season with Altrincham; Saturday (3pm) at Victory Park. Rescheduled from October due to the FA Cup, then re-rescheduled from January 8 because of Brackley’s ongoing participation in the FA Trophy.
Admission: £12 adults, £9 over-60s/NHS/first responders/armed services, £7 students, £5 12-16s & FREE under-12s