Chorley 0, Aldershot 0: Magpies draw a blank at home once again

Jamie Vermiglio
Jamie Vermiglio

This stalemate followed an all-too-familiar recurring pattern, it being the Magpies’ eighth draw in 15 matches and fourth goalless game, of which Victory Park has now staged three.

There have certainly been better goal-free draws than this one, which gave a thrills-starved crowd of 1,425 little to get excited about.

Shots’ boss Danny Searle emerged from the visitors’ dressing-room to declare: "What an awful game! If I were a spectator, I think I’d be asking for a refund."

His opposite number Jamie Vermiglio was equally frank: "I’m frustrated, the players are frustrated – and I’m sure our fans are. We’ve had opportunities, two very good ones, to win this game and once again, for all the lads’ efforts, we’ve missed out on three points at home."

Undeniably Chorley wasted the best two chances of a largely featureless match. Both came in the opening twenty minutes when the Magpies were at their sharpest.

Firstly, Ntumba Massanka broke through on the right and from the by-line clipped the ball back for Chris Holroyd – but the usually reliable finisher hesitated momentarily before unleashing a shot which a defender got across to block.

Then Holroyd and Massanka combined neatly to play in Matt Challoner to the right side of the box but the wing-back’s first-time drive flew just too high and clipped the crossbar. He should have done better.

That was basically as good as it got. Aldershot produced some nifty approach play at times but had to wait until a couple of minutes from the break before troubling Matt Urwin in the home goal.

Alefe Santos was sent clear down the right and raked the goalmouth with a fiercely driven cross-cum-shot before Harrison Panayiotou drew a routing save from Urwin with a low drive.

There was little action of note in the first 20 minutes after the interval, when Chorley seemed to lose their momentum.

Aldershot looked the livelier side without creating anything to seriously test Urwin. The Magpies barely mustered a threatening shot, confronted with a heavily-manned Shots’ defence, and the prospect of a decisive goal seemed to depend on the visitors’ quick breakaways.

Ethan Chislett made a determined run across the back of the Chorley penalty area, riding three challenges, only to fire over the bar, while Urwin had to be alert to make a near-post save, the last act of a thoroughly forgettable game.

But at least the Magpies climbed off the bottom of the table after Ebbsfleet’s defeat at Harrogate.

CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman (Carver,75), Teague (Ross, 56), Meppen-Walters, Baines, Nortey, Cottrell, E.Newby (A.Newby,63 ), Holroyd, Massanka. Unused subs. Dodds, O’Keefe.