Stockport County secured a point deep into added time for the second Saturday running as a 93rd-minute equaliser from Jason Oswell cancelled out a controversial opening goal that had looked to have given Chorley the win.
And, just like Jimmy Ball’s late, late strike that had earned a share of the spoils against Boston a week previously, the crucial County goal was a header following a cross from the left with Matty Warburton assuming the role played by Scott Duxbury at York Street to pick out Oswell for the leading scorer’s 16th goal of the season.
An even first half witnessed a sprinkling of chances at each end – beginning with two early Bohan Dixon efforts from the edge of the area that fizzed past the post before the Magpies, on 12 minutes, were presented with the contest’s first clear-cut opportunity, which Jason Walker fired over at the Cheadle End when through on goal.
Warburton curled a free kick from distance around the right post – and Oswell then went closer still after he connected with Duxbury’s in-swinging corner from the right, but visiting goalkeeper Matt Urwin kept the header out.
The Hatters had neither ever beaten the Magpies, nor even taken the lead against them at Edgeley Park, although thought the latter demon had been exorcised after 34 minutes when Oswell headed in Duxbury’s cross from the left only for the goal to be ruled out for offside.
The Magpies sounded an early declaration of second-half intent as they forced three corners in as many minutes shortly after the restart with the second being earned after Ben Hinchliffe had done well to parry behind Adam Blakeman’s 25-yard piledriver.
Hinchliffe was also on hand to punch out another Haughton free kick and visiting captain Andy Teague shot narrowly past the right post.
After 82 minutes, a run by Duxbury into the Chorley half saw him collide with Josh Wilson. Chorley were given the free-kick and Haughton weaved into the County area to slot past Hinchliffe.
Any chance of a ‘Boston repeat’ appeared to die as only two – rather than five – minutes of added time were announced, and a Warburton cross from the left found the head of the previous weekend’s hero, Ball, but was intercepted by Urwin.
But in the closing moments, the County faithful were reminded of the need never to leave early, as Warburton delivered again for Oswell to power home a bullet of a header and salvage the draw.
FULL-TIME: County 1 (Oswell 90+3), Chorley 1 (Haughton 82)
Stockport County: Hinchliffe, Cowan, Duxbury, Ball, Clarke (Capt.), O’Halloran, Mantack (Stephenson, 60), Stopforth (McKenna, 84), Oswell, Dixon, Warburton. Unused subs: Smalley, Ormson, S Walker.
Booked: Warburton, Ball, Oswell.
Man of the Match: Stopforth.
Attendance: 3,674 (276 away).