Chorley 1-1 Boston United
By Craig Singleton
Boston United battled their way to a creditable point on the road at Chorley in Vanarama National League North on Saturday afternoon.
The Pilgrims led 1-0 at half-time courtesy of Nicky Walker's fifth goal of the season, but were pegged back by a 58th minute header from Courtney Meppen-Walter. United subsequently required some fine saves from George Willis to preserve a point, although Andi Thanoj did rattle the crossbar in the dying moments.
United's afternoon ended on a sour note when debutant Jordan Thewlis left the pitch on a stretcher with a serious-looking ankle injury.
Craig Elliott had named an unchanged XI ahead of kick-off, with Thewlis and fellow loan signing Lewis Gibbens named on the bench.
Willis saved well to deny Adam Blakeman from a free-kick after himself handling outside his penalty area. Willis then denied Louis Almond with a fine, sprawling save.
The Pilgrims edged ahead when Brad Abbott clipped WALKER into the clear and he beat Matt Urwin at his near post with a firm drive from 18 yards.
Chorley levelled 13 minutes after the break when MEPPEN-WALTER met Blakeman’s corner with a firm header beyond Willis.
The Magpies upped the ante, with Willis palming aside Marcus Carver’s drive, Carver seeing a fierce effort deflect off Spencer Harris and over the bar and Alex Newby’s cross-shot dropping wide of the far post.
Willis made an outstanding save to keep out Carver in the 71st minute but the Pilgrims came close to snatching their own winner when Thanoj rattled the crossbar from 30 yards with 89 minutes on the clock.
Unfortunately United’s afternoon ended on a downer with Thewlis carried off, following a clash with Josh O’Keefe, to potentially signal the end of his loan spell before it had effectively even started.
Chorley (3-5-2): Matt Urwin; Andy Teague (Josh Wilson 86), Courtney Meppen-Walter, Stephen Jordan; Adam Anson, Elliot Newby, Josh O’Keefe, Alex Newby, Adam Blakeman; Marcus Carver, Louis Almond (James Hooper 86). Subs (not used): Dale Whitham, Jake Cottrell, Jordan Lussey.
Boston (4-3-3): George Willis; Ben Davies, Ryan Qualter, Spencer Harris, Ashley Jackson; Brad Abbott, Andi Thanoj, Liam Agnew (Jay Rollins 77); Max Wright (Jordan Thewlis 69), Gavin Allott, Nicky Walker (Lewis Gibbens 90). Subs (not used): Jordan Slew, Sebastian Malkowski (gk).
Referee: Elliott Swallow.