Words: Alex Birch; Pictures: Josh Vosper
The Magpies hit their first two goals of the season before battling to a 2-2 draw in south London against Sutton United.
Playing with the wind Chorley started in determined mood, breaking their National League goal duck within seven minutes. Adam Blakeman hung a right-sided corner up to the back post and Courtney Meppen-Walters rose highest to head home from six yards.
Three minutes later it was 2-0. Another Blakeman corner was headed goalward by Meppen-Walters, the bar got in the way, but laid the ball on a plate for Chris Holroyd to bundle home from three yards for his first goal in Chorley colours.
The home side responded quickly, halving the deficit through Aaron Jarvis, who gave Joe Anyon no chance from close range four minutes later.
Josh O’Keefe went close to restoring Chorley’s two-goal lead, but his long range strike flew just over Jamie Butler’s bar, before Sutton got on top for the final 15 minutes of the half.
Anyon made one save from Omar Bugiel, and Meppen-Walters survived a strong shout for a penalty after a challenge on the awkward Bugiel in the box. Ref Scott Jackson waved the home side’s protests away, much to the ire of the locals.
With the wind in the home side’s favour, it didn’t take them long to make the advantage count, although their equaliser was less about the wind and more about Rob Milsom’s accuracy. The midfielder pinging a beautiful free kick over the Chorley wall and past Anyon from 30 yards.
Despite the setback Chorley settled back into their rhythm as the wind became less of a factor. Sub Ntumba Massanka made another positive impression from the bench, but was lucky to survive a late Ben Goodliffe challenge that the ref deemed a yellow card offence.
It was Goodliffe, up from the back for a free kick, who had Sutton’s best chance in the remaining half hour, but the close range header from Milsom’s centre missed the target.
As for the visitors, Massanka proved difficult to defend against, working well with Carver to hold the ball and create half chances. Both Dodds and Massanka had efforts from the edge of the box blocked, but in the end The Magpies had to settle for a point.
Sutton: Butler; Bennett, Barden, Goodliffe, Collins (c), Bolarinwa (Ajiboye, 82′), Bugiel (Dundas, 77′), Beautyman, Randall, Milsom, Jarvis (Kearney, 85′). Subs not used: Dudzinski, Matsuzaka.
Chorley: Anyon; Challoner, Blakeman, Teague (c), Meppen-Walters, A.Newby (Cottrell, 78′), O’Keefe, Carver, E.Newby (Dodds, 68′), Baines, Holroyd (Massanka, 57′). Subs not used: Ross, Hooper.
HT 1-2 / FT 2-2
Goals: Jarvis (14′), Milsom (54′); Meppen-Walter (7′), Holroyd (10′)
Cautions: Goodliffe (60′)
Referee: Scott Jackson
Assistants: Adam Ricketts & Declan O’Shea
Fourth official: Ivan Gelov
Coming up: Solihull Moors visit Victory Park on Tuesday evening (7:45pm). Tickets are available online & on the gate priced £15 adults, £12 concessions, £7 18-21s, £5 11-17s & FREE accompanied under-12s.