Magpies earn a draw

THE Jack Kirkland Trophy was shared by Chorley and Preston North End after a keenly-contested draw at Victory Park.

Lee Trundle gave North End a 27th minute lead with a fine solo effort, before Ciaran Kilheeney levelled for the Magpies on the stroke of half-time.

Neither side could make the breakthrough in the second half, North End having the better chances, but failing to captalise.

Trundle rolled back the years to find the net, surging forward from the halfway line to get into the box and score.

He’s on trial with PNE, hoping to land a contract after leaving Welsh Premier League side Neath in the summer, when they went bust.

The 35-year-old striker spent two seasons with Chorley earlier in his career, featuring in the Magpies side which reached the FA Trophy semi-final.

Trundle offered the biggest threat of the four strikers used by North End on the night, and could have added to his tally in the 45 minutes he spent on the pitch.

As at Southport on Saturday, North End manager Graham Westley utilised all the players available to him, making 10 changes at half-time.

Nicky Wroe was the only player to start both halves, eventually giving way to Jack King in the 72nd minute – King having played in the first half.

Both North End goalkeepers were trialists, former Benfica shot-stopper Jose Moreira playing the first half, with former Liverpool and Millwall keeper Tony Warner featuring in the second.

Moreira, 30, was in Portugal’s Euro 2004 squad, and racked up a number of appearances for Portuguese giants Benfica.

Heavy rain gave the pitch a greasy top which allowed the ball to be zipped around crisply last night, although players from both also found it difficult at times keeping their footing.

North End started brightly and threatened the Chorley goal as early as the third minute, neat build-up play from Lee Holmes and Keith Keane teeing up Wroe, whose 20-yard drive was fingertipped over the bar by Magpies keeper Andy Robertson.

Scott Laird took the resulting corner from the left, which Shane Cansdell-Sherriff headed just over.

Chorley responded with a set piece of their own, John Cunliffe’s curling free-kick comfortably clearing the bar.

A fine piece of play from Trundle saw him play in Graham Cummins in the box, but Robertson was out to block at the Irish striker’s feet.

At the other end, Kieron Walmsley put a free-kick too high.

In the 21st minute, Trundle’s shot on the turn from the edge of the box was spilled by the keeper, but he recovered well to smother Cummins’ follow-up.

The deadlock was broken in some style, former Swansea frontman TRUNDLE collecting possession just inside the Magpies half before setting off on a surging run.

He held off the attentions of two defenders to get into the box before firing a low, left-foot shot into the far bottom corner.

It was a lead the visitors held until the stroke of half-time, KILHEENEY knocking the ball home from six yards after Chris Denham’s shot on the turn spun into his path.

Ten minutes into the second half, PNE’s teenager winger Will Hayhurst worked his way into a good position just outside the box, but he drilled his shot straight at Russ Saunders.

And Chris Holroyd did likewise soon after, Saunders dropping to his knee to comfortably save.

On the hour mark, Andy Procter steered a header just wide of the target after being picked out by Jeffrey Monakana’s right-wing cross.

Wroe then whipped a free-kick past the post, Monakana having had his legs taken from under him.

As North End got on the front foot, Holroyd got some room down the left side of the box and drew a save out of Saunders at the near post.

Monakana, far more involved in the game than he had been at Southport, almost found a way through in the 71st minute.

His run down the inside-right channel carried him into the box, his shot bouncing off Saunders’ chest.

The former Arsenal winger then whipped over a fine cross to find King in the box, his volley going straight at keeper.

Three minutes from time, Magpies sub Matt Walwyn volleyed high over the bar from outside the box.