Chorley and National League North league leaders Solihull Moors played out a hard fought draw at Victory Park writes Oliver Smith of the Chorley Guardian.
In an excellent advert for the non-league game, both sides battled hard and a draw was a fair result.
Solihull, managed by former Queens Park Rangers defender Marcus Bignot, opened the scoring in the second minute.
Former Birmingham City striker Akwasi Asante took advantage of a Sam Ashton error to finish from two yards.
Moors were reduced to 10-men in the 12th minute as midfielder Jack Byrne kicked Dale Whitham in the face when challenging for a high ball.
Chorley were on level terms in the 21st minute, Morecambe loanee Chris Doyle finishing from close range.
The hosts held the lead at half-time as Solihull defender Liam Daly sliced his clearance into his own net in the 30th minute.
After a short spell of pressure, Solihull drew themselves level on the hour, James Armson finding the bottom corner with the outside of his left boot.
Two minute in, the visitors had first sight on goal and with that they took the lead.
Winger Armson’s shot from the right was poorly parried by Ashton, taking advantage of the error was Asante who bundled in the ball from two yards.
Two minutes later, Solihull should have extended their lead but Ashton was equal to Asante’s low shot.
The Moors’ front-man had found himself in acres of space after being played through by Stefan Moore but he failed to double his tally for the day.
After an excellent start in which they dominated, Solihull were reduced to 10-men.
Byrne went into a high challenge with Whitham, the Chorley midfielder attempted to win the ball with his head which led to him being kicked in the face by the former.
Much to the disgust of the Solihull bench, referee Paul Newhouse produced the red card and gave Byrne his marching orders.
James Dean soon found himself in the referee’s book in the 12th minute as the big striker recklessly hacked down Gareth Dean.
Despite being a man down, it was Solihull who had the next effort on goal, Daly’s header rattling the crossbar from a corner.
Chorley started to come into the game and Whitham saw his well struck shot deflected wide in the 19th minute.
Two minutes later, the hosts grabbed an equaliser, from an Andy Bond corner, skipper Andy Teague headed downwards and sweeping home the loose ball was Doyle.
Despite equalising, Chorley were struggling defensively and an onrushing Ashton made a fine save low to his right to deny Moore with the rebound hooked away by Teague.
In the 31st minute, the Magpies took the lead in bizarre circumstances.
Darren Stephenson whipped in a cross and Daly’s attempted hooked clearance went over the head of goalkeeper Daniel Lewis and into the far corner.
Just before half-time, Chorley threatened when Stephenson crossed but Whitham could only shoot over.
It was a fast start to the second half, Bond saw a shot caught by Lewis whilst at the other end, Ashton made an excellent save with his leg to keep Ryan Beswick at bay.
Solihull continued to rally, Beswick stung the palms of Ashton and Doyle sliced Moore’s cross across the face of goal.
Shortly before the hour, Daly, a real threat from set-pieces, had a header tipped wide for a corner.
The Magpies were on the back foot and from a third consecutive Solihull corner, the hosts equalised.
Armson peeled off his marker and with the outside of his boot he found the bottom corner.
Mark Ross and Bond both flashed efforts wide for Chorley whilst former Aston Villa forward Moore posed a threat up front for Moors.
Solihull striker Asante was again thwarted by Ashton in the 81st minute, this time the Chorley shot stopper saved well diving low to his right.
In the final stages of the game, Whitham glanced a header agonisingly wide whilst Junior English shot harmlessly wide for Moors.
Chorley: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Adam Dodd, Andy Teague, Chris Doyle, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Andy Bond, Darren Stephenson
Subs: Marcus Carver (Dean, 54), Keiran Charnock, Lewis Guy, Adam Roscoe, Paul Jarvis
Goals: Akwasi Asante (1), CHRIS DOYLE (21), OWN GOAL (Liam Daly, 31), James Armson (60)
Red Card: Jack Byrne (12)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Andy Bond