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AFC Telford United 1 - 1 Chorley

Match Date: 13/10/2018
Competition: National League North
Kick Off: 15:00
Attendance: 1258

Henry Cowans90
Opposition Own Goals: 0

Team Sheet
Max Bramley
Ross White
Stephan Morley
Ellis Deeney
Shane Sutton
Theo Streete
Zak Lilly
Jonathan Royle
Daniel Udoh
John McAtee
Darryl Knights

Henry Cowans ( Replaced Ross White, 90 mins)
Andy Wycherley
Adam Dawson ( Replaced Jonathan Royle, 84 mins)
Andre Brown
Amari Morgan-Smith ( Replaced John McAtee, 72 mins)

Referee: Scott Simpson
Assistant 1: Richard Eley
Assistant 2: Alistair Nelson
Official 4: n/a

A thrilling injury-time equaliser from Henry Cowans kept the Bucks beaten home record intact and denied Chorley victory, although the Magpies remained top of the table and extended their unbeaten league record to 12 matches.

Bucks manager Gavin Cowan made two team changes, starting Zak Lilly alongside Shane Sutton and Theo Streete in what amounted to a back five, with Darryl Knights restored to the starting line-up too. Missing out from the team defeated at Warrington Town in the FA Cup were James McQuilkin and Amari Morgan-Smith.

Despite windy conditions and with some standing water on the pitch, neither side started as cautiously as might have been expected. The visitors were the first to test the opposing keeper; Max Bramley had to stand up and beat away an Adam Blakeman shot that seemed to change direction in the air, with the Bucks scrambling away Chorley’s follow-up attempts. Bramley then saved from former Buck Elliot Newby, who had broken into the penalty area on the left.

The Bucks responded through Daniel Udoh, with the top scorer bringing a low save at his near post from another ex-Buck, Matt Urwin. They went closer still approaching the half-way point of the half, when Steph Morley’s superb cross from the left invited a finish, first from Udoh, then Ross White at the far post; however, neither could apply the touch needed.

That preceded the game’s biggest talking point; on 25 minutes, Udoh got behind the Chorley defence, receiving a ball into the right channel, and was hauled back by Matt Challoner. Udoh still had work to do, but given his pace it seemed reasonable to think he would at least take the ball on and shoot at goal. Referee Scott Simpson thought otherwise, perhaps feeling that Jake Cottrell might have barred Udoh’s path to goal, and as a result Challoner was cautioned, rather than dismissed. The Bucks struck the two-man defensive wall from the free-kick that followed, and the chance was gone.

The Bucks were getting the upper hand, and home fans were further frustrated when the referee penalised them for a foul on Urwin, the keeper appearing simply to mishandle when catching a free-kick. Urwin then collided with Udoh after the forward got between him and Andy Teague, the Chorley captain, although it looked a 50/50 ball which both were entitled to go for, Udoh simply coming off worst.

The half ended with Udoh landing a tame header in Urwin’s grasp, Teague shooting over from 25 yards when making progress upfield, and with John McAtee being challenged just as he was about to pull the trigger, having evaded a couple of challenges running centrally at goal.

HALF TIME: AFC Telford United 0 Chorley 0

The home side picked up where they left off after the break, looking busy and determined but without seriously testing Urwin in the Chorley goal. McAtee guided a header wide of the keeper’s left post from a Knights cross, then Knights himself stretched to meet a ball in from the right, but got underneath it and put his effort too high and wide to the same side of goal.

Former Bucks’ favourite Elliot Newby had a moment to forget on 58 minutes; from a free-kick on the left edge of the penalty area, Blakeman foxed the Bucks by rolling the ball back to Newby in the ‘D’, however he perhaps timed his run a little late, got underneath the ball and succeeded only in clearing the stadium roof.

Just after the hour, Jamie Vermiglio made two substitutions, clearly designed to push for the victory. Alex Newby and Louis Almond replaced the largely ineffective Marcus Carver and Dale Whitham, and the two, but Almond particularly, quickly set about their task.

On 70 minutes, a corner won by Elliot Newby saw Blakeman’s delivery met by Teague at the far post. His header back across goal looked as though it would curl inside the post, only for Ellis Deeney to clear off the line. That signalled Chorley to push harder, their belief heightened. Courtney Meppen-Walter might have done better, failing to get off the ground when a leap may have seen him connect with a free-kick to the far post, the giant centre-back unmarked. Almond then exchanged passes with Newby on the left edge of the box and bent his shot just wide of the far post, Bramley beaten by the effort.

Just as it looked as though the game was destined to in stalemate, Chorley hit the front, and much to the chagrin of home fans who’d riled him throughout the afternoon it was former Buck Josh Wilson who scored. Almond again did well on the left, and his fine cross was met by Wilson 10 yards out, his head glancing the ball into the top corner at speed.

It looked to be the decisive blow; a battling and industrious Bucks showing ruined by a returning former player? Fans the world over have read this script before. However, the Bucks wouldn’t accept it as their fate. With Adam Dawson and Amari Morgan-Smith joining the fray they summoned their efforts for one last push. Ross White put an effort over the bar as the Bucks packed the Chorley area, then Steph Morley put a left-footed effort wide as Chorley failed to clear their lines from a corner.

Cowan’s final roll of the dice was to withdraw White for Henry Cowans, and the willowy midfielder had an almost immediate impact. The Bucks were being held on the edge of the Chorley penalty area, but when Challoner rushed out to Morley the full-back poked the ball past him to Udoh. The Magpies flew towards the forward, leaving space behind them for Cowans on the 18-yard line, and when Udoh found him with a pass he took a touch before driving a delicious right-footed finish past Urwin to his left. The keeper got a hand on it, but wasn’t stopping it, and the New Buck’s Head greeted the moment with delirium. Seconds after the restart the game ended, signalling just how close the Bucks had come to leaving the game empty-handed.

Chorley: Urwin, Challenor, Blakeman, Teague, Leather, Meppen-Walter, Cottrell, Whitham (A.Newby 66), Carver (Almond 63), Wilson, E.Newby.

Unused substitutes: Glynn, Anson, Jordan.

Scorers: Wilson (83).

Bookings: Challenor.

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