Chorley pay the penalty in draw

Photo: David Hurst'Chorley FC V Stocksbridge P S at Victory Park'Tom Ince
Photo: David Hurst'Chorley FC V Stocksbridge P S at Victory Park'Tom Ince
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The unlucky Magpies saw the ball hit the woodwork three times, had two goals disallowed for offside, and were left bemused that the referee had chosen not to award a clear-cut penalty for a challenge by the Stocksbridge goalkeeper on Matt Walwyn.

However, this is no excuse for Chorley, as numerous openings went amiss when really they should have been hitting the back of the net.

Within the first two minutes, it became clear who was the better side, as Chorley pressed forward from the kick-off.

The first opening fell to Dale Whitham, who saw his powerful header bounce back off the crossbar with the Stockbridge keeper helpless.

Just a minute later, Tom Ince hit a screamer from 25 yards which went just wide of the post.

The chances didn’t stop there, with Walwyn denied at the last moment on a couple of occasions, and Ali Brown dragging a shot from distance wide.

The Steels’ first chance fell to lively striker Jack Muldoon, who rounded Saunders but put it into the side netting from a tight angle.

Then there came the controversy as Matt Walwyn made his way into the box and took the ball around the goalkeeper Ben Scott before being fouled.

Fans in the Duke Street end were shouting for the penalty, but their delight turned to bewilderment as the referee did not award the spot-kick.

Even the goalkeeper had seemed to accept it, but the man that counted failed to make the big call.

The Magpies continued to press, with Ince testing the strength of the crossbar with a vicious left-foot drive, before Walwyn and Roscoe carved out opportunities before half-time, but were unable to convert them.

The second half started as the first had ended, with the Magpies pressing and the out-of-form Steels struggling to keep the black-and-white attackers out.

Foster’s shot across goal just evaded Walwyn, before Vermiglio dragged his shot wide and then defender Andy Teague hit the post when it seemed easier to convert the opportunity.

As the second half progressed, boss Garry Flitcroft threw on Chris Denham and Simon Whaley, but nothing it seemed could breach the Steels rearguard, as last-ditch challenges denied Walwyn and then Foster.

As the final whistle approached, it seemed that the crowd of 870 was resigned to dropping two more points at home, with wild efforts from Whitham and Denham the only brief openings in a flat ending to what had begun as a frenetic spectacle.

Chorley: Saunders; Ross, Teague, Russell, Brown; Roscoe (Williams), Vermiglio (Denham), Whitham, Ince; Walwyn (Whaley), Foster.

Man-of-the-Match: Jamie Vermiglio – At the heart of every attack. The creative spark seemed to be extinguished when he was substituted.