Eastleigh 0 Chorley 0
The Magpies’ sequence of goalless draws – now four in a row – is fast bordering on the surreal.
And this deserved point against in-form Eastleigh confirms Chorley’s ability to compete at National League level – as manager Jamie Vermiglio underlined after the match.
“This is another good point away from home but our first-half display could have been worth three,” said the Chorley boss.
“We had two or three opportunities to establish a lead to hold on to.
“Eastleigh were a much better side in the second half and caused us a few problems but we’ve kept the clean-sheet and shown that we are more than good enough for this league.
“We just need to convert some of these draws into wins.”
Although the game survived a morning pitch-inspection, the match was played in very difficult, increasingly sticky conditions, exacerbated by the incessant rain.
This did not prevent Chorley, after surviving early pressure, from making a bold bid and they had three good scoring opportunities in the first half.
Marcus Carver drew a very good save out of Max Stryjek who palmed his shot aside at full stretch but should have done better with a quick second chance when left clear on goal.
Then Louis Dodds broke through and lobbed Stryjek only to see Rob Atkinson get back to head off the line.
The hosts’ main threat came from Southampton loanee Marcus Barnes who forced Matt Urwin into a smart reflex save from a close-range header.
As Eastleigh got on top after the break, Barnes wasted two more decent chances, clipping one effort wide of the far post and then firing into the side-netting when he should at least have hit the target.
The teeming rain and increasing amounts of surface water prompted the referee, with some 20 minutes remaining, to chat to both managers to confirm they were prepared to continue.
The home fans thought skipper Danny Hollands had won the game in the 89th minute with a classic overhead bicycle kick which flew past Urwin.
But the celebrations were promptly cut short by an offside flag.
The Magpies had the last chance to nick a win but Mark Ross’ header from a corner was off target and they had to be satisfied with a point from their 10th draw out of 17 games in this curiosity of a season.
CHORLEY: Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Meppen-Walters, Ross, Baines, Cottrell, Dodds (A Newby 60), Carver (Massanka 60), Nortyey, Holroyd (O’Keefe 86). Subs (not used): E Newby, Eccles.