Tuesday August 20th, 7.45pm
After a delayed kick-off due to the match officials being held up on the M6 Chorley managed to snatch a point from a game where three were begging to be taken.
After 51 minutes the Magpies were three up thanks to goals from Josh Hine (6) and two from Darren Stephenson (48 & 51)and seemingly cruising to an easy win. But in the final twenty minutes the Robins hit back with substitute Martin Pilkington netting twice in five minutes (72 & 77), then a minute from time Lee Rick levelled the score.
It could have and should have been a different result, but just after the hour mark Dale Whitham, Tom Ince and Hine were all withdrawn due to muscle strains with the result looking a forgone conclusion, but Ashton took advantage on the changes in the Chorley line-up.
The match, one of many on the evening that were delayed due to a major incident on the M6, got off to a flying start when Hine netting his first competitive goal for his new club on six minutes. The former Skelmersdale striker outpaced the Ashton defence before angling a shot past player-manager Paul Phillips in the visitor’s goal.
Hine almost doubled the lead two minutes later, but his speculative lob sailed just beyond the angle of post and crossbar.
Throughout the opening stages Chorley were well on top. Sam Ashton had little to do other than handle back-passes, while in attacking areas the front six all combined well.
Andy Teague had a shot from a corner blocked on half an hour and then Dale Whitham shot across the face of the goal after a Tom Baker free-kick.
At half time the single goal advantage was scant reward for a dominating performance, but more was to follow shortly after the break.
Just three minutes after the restart Stephenson fired on from close range after Whitham nodded down an Ince ball into the box then a further three minutes into the second period it looked like game set and match to the Magpies when Stephenson netting his fourth of the season, this time heading in a Paul Jarvis cross.
The big striker almost had a hat-trick, but he dragged his shot wide just before the game flipped on its head.
In quick succession Whitham, Ince and Hine were all withdrawn due to injury and as a result of the player and positional changes Chorley never looked the same again.
Ashton struck what looked like a consolation goal on seventy-two minutes when Pilkington headed in after sloppy defending allowed the Ashton midfield to run at the defence unchallenged.
Five minutes later it was game on. Pilkington again scoring, this time though Baker should have cleared, then Teague should have done better with his back pass as his gave Sam Ashton little chance with Pilkington capitalising.
The Robins had their tails up while the Magpies had theirs tucked firmly between their legs, and if there were going to be any more goals only one side looked like scoring… and they did minute from time it came as Lee Rick grabbed a deserved equaliser.
Chorley XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Jake Cottrell, Andy Teague, Keil O’Brien, Dale Whitham, Paul Jarvis, Tom Baker, Darren Stephenson, Josh Hine, Tom Ince
Subs: Paul O’Neill, Adam Roscoe (Whitham, 60), Jamie Vermiglio, Carlos Roca (Ince, 60), Simon Wiles (Hine, 64)
Goals: JOSH HINE (6), DARREN STEPHENSON (48, 51), Martin Pilkington (72, 77), Lee Rick (89)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Josh Hine, pure quality up front