Darlington 2 Chorley 2
On a day when the loyalty of the supporters shone through when they helped to clear three inches of snow off the pitch, Quakers were held to a 2-2 draw by visitors Chorley.
Quakers moved up to fourth bottom of the table above Telford, but it could have been so much better if they had managed to hold on to their lead, which they gained twice in the game.
The game started well enough for them, with a promising first 20 minutes.
There was a second minute corner for Darlo, after a good run by Stephen Thompson. The ball was curled in by Terry Galbraith, and Chorley full back Adam Blakeman headed the ball just over his own bar.
But there was a great chance for Chorley when Brewster latched on to a through ball, got away from two defenders, and with new keeper Aynsley Pears to beat, miskicked wide.
Reece Styche then got away for Quakers, and his fierce shot was parried by Urwin.
A corner from the right bounced off Josh Heaton into the keeperr’s hands, then a great move by Quakers opened up the defence for Joe Wheatley to get away, but keeper Urwin blocked his shot with his legs.
Goal!! 1-0. Quakers took the lead on 17 minutes. Thompson put the ball through for Styche to latch onto as the Chorley defence stood still, he ran into the box , steadied himself, and buried the ball into the roof of the net. He then celebrated by throwing himself into a pile of snow and threw snowballs! Styche’s 8th of the season. Chorley protested about the goal on the grounds that the assistant had raised his flag, but the referee waved their protests away.
Goal — 1-1 . However, Chorley levelled on 23 minutes when Josh Walker held the ball up for Blakeman . who beat Pears with a low left foot shot from just outsdie the box.
The goal knocked Quakers out of their stride slightly, and Chorley came more into the game.
A good run by Luke Trotman got Quakers a corner on 37 minutes . The corner came back to Galbraith, who played the ball inside for Thompson, who fired just over from an acute angle.
Darlington 1 Chorley 1
Goal! Quakers regained the lead four minutes into the second half.
Wheatley was upended when he went for a Trotman cross from the right hand side, and the referee pointed to the spot. Stephen Thompson confidently tucked the ball into the bottom corner for his third goal of teh season.
O’Keefe had a chance from a left wing cross, but he pulled his shot wide.
After Gary Brown needed treatment, Quakers got a free kick for a foul on Thompson on the edge of the Chorley box, and Wheatley curled the ball on to the roof of the net.
Mills went off and was replaced by Saunders, and the sub nearly scored when Styche got into the box on the right and crossed into the middle, but Saunders, under pressure, headed wide.
Injury scare for Darlo — Pears went down injured following a challenge with Walker, but he was ok to resume after treatment.
Goal – 2-2 But Chorley levelled again on 75 minutes. Quakers lost possession on their left, and the ball came into the near post where Walker flicked the ball past Pears.
Chorley were reduced to ten with ten minutes left when sub Carver was sent off for two fouls in a minute.
Quakers had plenty of pressure and got into the Chorley box on a couple of occasions, but couldn’t create a clear chance.
Chorley nearly won it in 90+4 when O’Keeffe found space on the edge of the box and fired towards goal, but Pears pulled off a great save, diving full length to his right and keep the ball out.
Darlington 2 Chorley 2
Pears, Trotman, Galbraith, Turnbull, Heaton, Brown, Mills (sub Saunders 62), Scott, Styche, Wheatley (sub Gillies 81), Thompson (sub Syers 81)
Subs: Marrs, Bancroft,
Booking: Trotman, Styche.
Chorley: Urwin, Hughes, Blakeman, Teague. Leather, Jordan, Wilson, O’Keefe, Walker, Brewster (sub Carver 53), Cotterell.
Subs: Roscoe, Beesley, Whitham, Anson
Booking: Leather, O’Keefe, Carver
Sending off: Carver
Three changes in the Darlo line up — in come keeper Aynsley Pears, defender Luke Trotman and midfielder Jo Wheatley, for James Talbot, Tom Portas and Josh Gillies
Pears, Trotman, Galbraith, Turnbull, Heaton, Brown, Mills, Scott, Styche, Wheatley, Thompson
Subs: Marrs, Bancroft, Gillies, Syers, Saunders.
Collins and Portas are injured, Caton is ill, Talbot is suspended.
Chorley: Urwin, Hughes, Blakeman, Teague. Leather, Jordan, Wilson, O’Keefe, Walker, Brewster, Cotterell.
Subs: Roscoe, Beesley, Whitham, Carver, Anson