Match report: Chorley 2-2 AFC Fylde

Chorley vs. AFC Fylde
Chorley vs. AFC Fylde
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A late wonder strike from Dion Charles meant Chorley had to settle for a point against rivals AFC Fylde.

The draw was probably a fair result on the day as both sides had chances throughout the 90 minutes.

Chorley’s play-off hopes are still alive as they sit in eighth spot with three games in hand on fifth placed Hednesford Town.

In a first half that saw the Magpies dominate, it was the title chasers that took the lead five minutes before the break, as Danny Rowe scored from inside the penalty area.

The lead was cancelled out in the 70th minute as James Dean scored against his former side.

Chorley then took the lead three minutes later as Coasters striker Matthew Blinkhorn sliced a clearance past Ben Hinchliffe.

With time running out, Charles made an instant impact from the substitutes bench sealing a point for the visitors with an excellent left footed strike.

Boss Garry Flitcroft opted to make one change to his starting XI for the game, the fit again Chris Doyle regained his spot at centre-half with midfielder Jake Cottrell dropping to the substitutes bench.

The Magpies had the better of the opening stages at the Chorley Group Victory Park stadium, Dean twice shot over the bar while Matt Flynn headed straight at Ben Hinchliffe from the edge of the box.

Chorley continued to see more of ball with Fylde giving away possession sloppily on a number of occasions.

Ex-Coasters midfielder Harry Winter shot straight at Hinchliffe while Richard Baker made an excellent sliding challenge to block a goalbound Chris Simm shot.

Hinchliffe continued to be the busier of the two goalkeepers as he saved at his near post to deny Dale Whitham.

Shortly after the 20 minute mark, Fylde registered their first attempt on goal, Ritchie Allen cut inside onto his favoured right foot, his low effort beat Sam Ashton but Flynn was on hand to clear off the line.

The game turned scrappy, the bobbly pitch wasn’t helping either side and both ‘keepers watched long distance efforts sail over the bar.

Fylde had been second best throughout the first half but with five minutes remaining they took the lead against the run of play and yet again it was down to another defensive Chorley error.

Blinkhorn crossed into the area, Mather did well to win the header but rather than heading over he played the ball back into the area and into the path of Rowe, the Fylde man was in acres of space and with no Chorley man in sight he lashed a shot past Ashton.

The second half saw little action, the Chorley forwards were struggling and the lack of creativity saw Josh Hine and Aaron Burns introduced at the expense of Chris Simm and Harry Winter.

Doyle then saw his header comfortably caught by Hinchliffe while Ashton was at ease saving Danny Lloyd’s right footed shot.

Chorley were struggling but against the run of play they drew level.

Jack Dorney curled in a cross, Burns flicked on and in acres of space was Dean who prodded past the onrushing Hinchliffe.

The home side were buoyed by their goal and moments later there was pandemonium in the stands.

Mather whipped in a free-kick, Burns lunged towards the ball and the pressure told as Blinkhorn sliced his clearance into the back-of-the-net.

Despite falling behind, Fylde looked dangerous as Rowe blazed another free-kick over while Ashton twice punched away two crosses.

Sub Burns almost put the game to bed as he beat an onrushing Hinchliffe to the ball but his shot went inches wide of the post.

Ashton was then called upon to acrobatically tip over a Baker shot before a moment of brilliance silenced the Chorley fans as Fylde drew level.

Charles found himself 30 yards out from goal, with nothing on he opted to shoot and his quality left footed shot curled into the top corner past a helpless Ashton.

In stoppage time, Chorley had a chance to win the game but Doyle could only head over at the back post.

Chorley: Ashton, Ross, Mather, Flynn, Doyle, Whitham (c), Winter (Burns 70), Roscoe, Dean, Simm (Hine 65), Dorney

Subs unused: Cottrell, Almond, Jarvis

Attendance: 1525

Referee: Peter Gibbons