Chorley 2 NFU 2 (NLN 17-18)

Saturday 27 January 2018

 Vanarama National League North

Chorley  2                    North Ferriby United      2
Jason Walker 21         Brett Agnew 19
Josh O’Keefe 56          Jordan Harrison 76
Not many people will have seen this result coming! Ferriby gave a much-improved performance against Chorley but they fully deserved the point. Despite finishing with just 10 men.

This was a committed and more composed performance by The Villagers. They battled all through and made Chorley work hard. Jordan Cooke and Jack Mail, until his substitution, were a very effective pairing at centre-back.

Chorley had probably done their homework as they peppered the Ferriby defence with high balls throughout the game. As a tactic it led to their two goals and created a number of good chances as crosses found attackers in space. But overall, Ferriby defended well. Jack Walters and newly appointed assistant manager/player Paul Robson performed well on the outside.

Chorley always carried the greater threat and, to be honest, they had the chances to win the game but that would have been unfair given Ferriby’s overall defensive display.

There was little of note in the opening ten minutes but Chorley went close twice within a minute. Delial Brewster’s shot was deflected for a corner. This was taken by Adam Blakeman and somebody put in a shot that was cleared off the line.

Brett Agnew almost put The Villagers ahead after 16 minutes. He cut in from the right and his low shot went under the advancing keeper Matt Urwin and came back off the post.

Agnew did, to the surprise of most people put Ferriby ahead after 19 minutes. Robson’s long free-kick was flighted over the defence and Agnew ran o to it to head home his first goal for the club as Urwin came off his line.

A minute later Cooke headed Jason Walker’s shot off the line but the equaliser was not delayed for long. Disappointingly for Ferriby, the goal was another header concede in the goal area as Walker headed in Blakeman’s near-post corner.

The rest of the half mainly belonged to the hosts and good chances were wasted. Blakeman and Matty Hughes, both wing-backs had a lot of space down their respective wings  and were prominent in many of Chorley’s attacks.

Ferriby’s midfield contested well and made life difficult for Chorley. Challenges were strong and Chorley were not always given time to dwell on the ball.

The second-half was not, in many ways, too different to the first.  Chorley had more territory and possession but wasted some good opportunities. Ferriby earned this good fortune, something that they have not experienced for much of the season.

Chorley took the lead after 56 minutes. Ross Durrant, who made some good saves during the game, dropped Blakeman’s in-swinging corner, allowing Josh O’Keefe to score. Despair for Ferriby’s travelling fans who perhaps felt the floodgates might now open. However, The Villagers did obviously not feel that way.

Agnew was desperately unlucky not to equalise with a rasping shot that thundered off the crossbar in  the 62nd minute. The rebound reached Jorome Slew and his shot was cleared off the line by Andy Teague with the Ferriby players appealing for a penalty. It seemed more like ball-to-hand. A penalty would have been harsh but everybody has seen them given in those circumstance.

Again, Ferriby did not let their heads go down and substitute Jordan Harrison scored hid first goal for Ferriby with allow shot after 76 minutes. The equaliser was, in many respects mo more than Ferriby deserved.

The Villagers made the last 15 minutes of play hard when assistant manager Paul Robson, in his first game back at the club, was dismissed after 79 minutes for bringing down Khius Metz on the edge of the area s the player was about to shoot with just Durrant in front of him. There was no disputing the red card.

Was The Villagers’ hard work going to be undone with on ly 10 players. The answer was an emphatic “No!”

Manager Chris Bolder was in a much more buoyant mood than in recent weeks,
“We’ve talked for weeks now about the need for a good work ethic and positive commitment and that is what everybody gave me today. The lads played as though they wanted to win and they showed a determination not to get beaten.

“Going in front was probably a confidence boost even if they did equalise soon after. Our heads stayed up  for the rest of the half instead of going down as we have sometimes seen.

“Even after Chorley took the lead, we kept going and deserved the equaliser. It was good to see Brett and Jordan get their first goals for the club. Like a lot of the team, they are new to this level and goals for the forwards are a massive confidence boost.

“On the whole, the defence did its job today. People will say we rode our luck at times but it’s also true that you create your own luck. The defence did that today with some great blocks, tackles and clearances.

“People may look at Chorley’s goals and say ‘It’s the same mistakes’,  but taking the defensive display overall there were plenty of positives. Players held their positions better and we defended the first bll in much more strongly.

“We have to build on this against Leamington next week. It’s important to develop some consistency and to continue to increase confidence both as a team and individually.”

So the end to a long losing run and a first point for Chris Bolder. Hopefully, it is the first tangible result of what Bolder is trying to create: a positive side that is committed and has the confidence to play good football. Bolder will be the first to admit that this is not yet the finished product but there are positive signs fir teh future.

NFU: Ross Durrant , Paul Robson,  Jack Walters, Bobby Johnson, Jordon Cooke, Jack Mail  (Jamie Taylor 71), Charlie Dunkerley (Jordan Harrison 55), Jamie Forrester (Kojo Kyei  76), Brett Agnew, Jordan Deacey,  Jorome Slew
Substitutes not used: Lewis Exall, Ben Clappison,

Chorley: Matt Urwin, Matty Hughes, Adam Blakeman, Andy Teague, Scott Leather , Stephen Jordan, Josh Wilson,  Josh O’Keefe,  Jason Walker,  Delial Brewster (Khius Metz 61),, Jake Cottrell.

Subs not used:  Adam Anson, Adam Roscoe, Dale Whitham,Will Beesley

Attendance:   1011


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