Manager Matt Jansen was left feeling frustrated after seeing his Chorley side deliver a below-par performance in their National League North 1-1 draw with Curzon Ashton at Victory Park.
“We didn’t have the same quality or energy levels as in the first two games of the season and we lacked composure and creativity in the final third of the pitch,” said Jansen, though he praised the character of his players in recovering from conceding an early goal.
After a bright opening by the Magpies, during which Curzon keeper Cameron Mason did well to repel with his legs a close-range downward header from Josh Wilson, the visitors seized the lead.
The goal came about as the result of an uncharacteristic misjudgment by skipper Andy Teague in the ninth minute.
He failed to cut out a diagonal through-ball, leaving Joe Guest to race clear and tuck a fine cross-shot beyond Matt Urwin.
For a spell, Curzon threatened to run riot and home fans must have had flashbacks to the previous meeting of the teams at Victory Park in March when an equally lively and pacy Ashton wrapped up victory with three goals in the first half-hour.
Jonathan Hunt saw a powerful diving header parried by Urwin and when Scott Bakkor cut the ball back, Guest screwed a shot wide from a clear chance.
But Chorley gradually came more into the game and equalised on 27 minutes.
A free-kick into the box was not dealt with and the ball fell for Scott Leather who hit a thunderous shot into the top corner from around the penalty-spot.
After Jake Cottrell had drilled a snap-shot narrowly wide, the Magpies had an incredible escape.
A defence-splitting pass sent Max Leonard clear and as he skipped past the advancing Urwin a goal looked a formality.
But Cottrell appeared from nowhere to whip the ball off Leonard’s toes.
There was little to match that moment of tension in the second half but the visitors continued to stretch the Magpies’ defence with quick breakaways, from one of which Paul Marshall fired over the crossbar.
A late chance fell to Chorley sub Paul Jarvis from an inviting cut-back but he blazed his shot over the bar.
In truth, this was disappointing fare for the home fans in a crowd of 804 and it was undoubtedly Curzon who were more pleased with their point.
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Jordan (Charnock 82), O’Keefe, Wilson (Jarvis 71), Gornell, Walker (Carver 62), Cottrell. Subs (not used): Whitham, Roscoe.