Evostik league division one north
Ossett Albion - 2
Chorley - 2
Chorley snatched a point against Ossett Albion through a 96th-minute leveller by Andy Russell, but this is a game they should have won.
Saturday’s match was one of only two in the league to survive the big freeze and was the perfect chance to cut the gap on leaders Chester, whose game at Garforth Town was lost to the weather.
Ossett were thumped 6-0 by Chester last Saturday, and were recently hammered 6-2 by Bamber Bridge, so it looked like a banker.
Chorley did everything but score in the first period.
The first chance fell to Jack Dorney, but his shot was the first of many saves made by keeper Ashley Connor.
Less than a minute later, Connor foiled Jordan Stepien with an outstretched boot, after Dale Whitham put the striker through.
John Cunliffe had a shot blocked by Connor, the ball landing at the feet of Dorney, but the winger’s side-footed effort was cleared off the line.
Stepien then almost got on to the end of a headed ball into the box by Whitham, but that man Conner was there again.
The second half looked to bring more of the same when Cunliffe curled an effort just wide, then a sublime piece of control from Stepien on the edge of the box bamboozled two defenders.
He squared to Dorney, whose shot was cleared off the line. The ball dropped nicely for Cunliffe, but his spectacular overhead kick went narrowly wide.
Then the inevitable happened, a goal for the home side.
Albion, who hadn’t been able to get over the halfway line since the interval, broke forward as a long ball over the top was not cleared by Lee Woodyatt, and Lee Bennett stole in to finish beyond Grundy.
Garry Flitcroft immediately made a double change, with Mark Houghton and Shelton Payne replacing Stepien and Dorney.
Chorley nearly equalised when an Ince cross was almost turned in for an own goal, but Albion then grabbed a second when Joshua Moore scored following a mix-up between Mark Ross and Woodyatt.
Trying to find a way back in to the match, Chorley started to put a few longer balls into the Albion box, and it worked after 77 minutes.
A deep ball into the box was half cleared, Steve Flitcroft rifled a shot in from the edge of the box and a deft backheel flick from Whitham sent the keeper the wrong way.
Andy Russell replaced Tom Walker with a little over 10 minutes remaining, adding height and aggression to the front-line.
As time ebbed away, Houghton hammered the ball against the post, and Albion had to resort to time-wasting.
The referee signalled a minimum of five additional minutes, but Chorley had to wait until the final kick of the game for the equaliser to come as Russell’s shot almost broke the upright before nestling into the corner.
CHORLEY: Aaron Grundy, Lee Woodyatt, Tom Walker, Mark Ross, Jerome Fitzgerald, Dale Whitham, Jack Dorney, Steve Flitcroft, Jordan Stepien, John Cunliffe, Tom Ince. Subs: Mark Houghton (Stepien, 60), Payne (Dorney, 60), Fairhurst, Smith, Russell (Walker, 78)