Words: Pete Tscherewik; Pictures: Josh Vosper
Chorley extended their unbeaten run to three games as Jamie Vermiglio’s side earned a deserved 2-2 draw away at Barrow on Tuesday night.
For a contest between two sides at opposite ends of the table, the opening minutes of the game suggested a far smaller gap than the statistics suggested. With only nine minutes played, the Magpies found themselves in a fantastic position as Charles Vernam fired home his third Chorley goal in as many games after some smart work in midfield from fellow loanee Martin Smith.
The joy continued to flow for the travelling Magpies after 16 minutes, Smith again pulling the strings in midfield to find Matt Challoner out on the right who’s delightful low cross fell nicely to Marcus Carver who fired home past Joel Dixon.
Barrow looked to hit back quickly and didn’t have to wait long as their dangerman out on the left, Josh Kay, slammed an absolute thunderbolt from 30 yards past Matt Urwin to halve the deficit with only 22 minutes on the clock.
In a first-half played at 100mph, Barrow felt aggrieved as Smith challenged Kay on the break, though the referee chose to keep the red card in his pocket. Both sides continued to look dangerous in attack but the Bluebirds hit back again on the half-hour mark, John Rooney showing goal-scoring form similar to his brother Wayne, notching his 12th goal of the season.
Ian Evatt’s side continued to knock on the Magpies’ door, Rooney rattling a free-kick against the post before Matt Platt went close as his header from a Rooney corner clipped against the crossbar. Both sides looked to the bench as the game reached it’s climax, Chorley the happier of the two to sit back and absorb the Bluebirds’ pressure.
Six additional minutes were played at the end, with the pattern of the game continuing to offer the hosts a chance to snatch a late winner but the Magpies held on and secure a fantastic point.
Barrow: Dixon; Brough, Taylor (White, 63′), Hird, Rooney (c), Quigley (Hindle, 84), Hardcastle, Kay, Platt, Angus (Harrison, 75), Barry. Subs not used: Brown, Dyson.
Chorley: Urwin; Challoner, Blakeman, Meppen-Walters (c), A.Newby (O’ Keefe, 77′), Carver (Massanka, 70′), Ross, Smith (Cottrell, 79′), Baines, Nortey, Vernam. Subs not used: E.Newby, Holroyd.
HT 2-2 / FT 2-2
Goals: Vernam (9′), Carver (16′), Kay (22′), Rooney (30′)
Cautions: Smith (18′), Hird (42′), Carver (42′), Hardcastle (88′), Challoner (90+3)
Referee: Gareth Rhodes
Assistants: Jack Nield & Stuart Morland
Fourth official: Anthony Ball
Attendance: 2,324 (98 away)
Coming up: It’s back to Victory Park again on Saturday when Dagenham & Redbridge are the visitors for more Vanarama National League action (3pm). Admission (online & on the gate) costs £15 adults/£12 concessions/£7 18-21s/£5 12-17s/FREE accompanied under-12s.