MARCUS Carver grabbed a point in a 1-1 draw for Chorley against Darlington as they failed to take full advantage of a shock at the top of National League North.

With leaders AFC Fylde being hammered 5-0 at Salford City, a win over the Quakers would have closed the gap on the Coasters to nine points.

But Matt Jansen’s men had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Darlington went close as early as they second minute when they sent a shot over the bar.

Carver, pictured, sent a cross across the face of the Darlo goal, but none of his teammates had read the intention.

Ritchie Branagan made a decent save in the Magpies goal, but he was powerless on 16 minutes when the visitors went ahead.

A corner rebounded to Kevin Burgess and he fired the ball home from close range.

Chorley’s response to the setback was sluggish and they needed Will Beesley to be in the right place to clear off his own goalline. But they finally moved through the gears, with Adam Blakeman drilling just wide and Jack Sampson heading a decent chance straight at Ed Wilczynski in the visitors goal.

The pressure finally paid off on 34 minutes as Carver grabbed his seventh goal of the campaign. Dale Whitham’s cross was chested down by Sampson and the striker gave Wilczynski no chance.

Branagan made another good save before half-time, thwarting a one-on-one, whole at the other end Sampson somehow headed over from three yards out.

It was end-to-end action as Sampson was denied by a last-ditch tackle and Chorley’s Scott Leather cleared off his line.

Whitham and Carver went close after the restart, while Branagan was again in action with a sting of fine saves.

Chorley had late penalty claims turned down as they had to settle for a point.