Witton Albion 2 Chorley 2
In a dramatic finish to an all-action match, Chorley snatched a potentially vital point in the title-race with a goal in the sixth minute of added time.
Their game-saver, Brandon Zibaka, was not even on the original team-sheet, making the bench only after an injury to Darren Stephenson in the pre-match warm-up and with special permission from the referee.
The Magpies in truth looked disjointed for much of the high-tempo game and were two down in a five-minute spell midway through the first half.
A well-worked move on 23 minutes set up Albion’s Josh Hancock for a neat finish and then a dreadful mix-up in the Chorley defence gifted the outstanding Alex Titchener a free shot into an empty net.
The sides traded blows in an absorbing encounter and Chorley improved in the second half, Witton keeper Paul Cooper pulling off a stunning reflex save to tip over James Dean’s close-range volley.
Dale Whitham then almost unhinged the Albion bar with a thunderous 30-yard drive.
Something had to give and it was Chorley who struck on 82 minutes. Mark Ross found Chris Almond who drove a strong shot into the ground, bouncing over Cooper into the far corner of the net.
Garry Flitcroft’s side proceeded to lay siege to the Witton goal and were rewarded with the last kick of the game. After the referee had signalled five added minutes he booked Cooper for persistent time-wasting and in a melee in the home penalty area Zibaka pounced on the loose ball to whip an unstoppable shot into the back of the net.
It got even better with the news that second-placed Skelmersdale United had lost at Matlock, stretching the Magpies’ lead from three to four points.