Danny Wright sent off as Forest Green are held by minnows Chorley
TEN-MAN Forest Green survived a late bombardment at Victory Park to earn a goalless FA Trophy second round replay against Evo-Stik Northern Premier League high flyers Chorley, writes Richard Joyce.
The two sides will meet again at The New Lawn on Tuesday, 7.45pm.
Danny Wright's sending off early in the second half had the potential to dislodge Ady Pennock's charges, but Rovers were resolute in lashing rain, as they held off the advances of a rampant Chorley side who could have snatched a giant-killing near the end.
Marcus Kelly returned in midfield in place of on-loan Stoke City youngster James Alabi who reverted to a place among the replacements, while Dale Bennett replaced the missing Eddie Oshodi in a Rovers line up that had made the most of an eleven day period without a game.
An uneventful first half saw Rovers dominate early on and Jared Hodgkiss' smash on goal when found in space just a few minutes in whistled over the crossbar.
Rovers looked dangerous on the break, but were repeatedly foiled by Chorley keeper Sam Ashton, who eased to deny Matthew Barnes-Homer's dash forward after Wright had set his strike partner.
The hosts grew in confidence through the first half, but struggled to create any openings, and it was in fact another good stop by Ashton that denied Kelly from slamming in from another Rovers break forward.
In the latter stages of the half Chorley showed that they were more than a match for Rovers, and Wright's dismissal at the start of the second half looked to hand them a big advantage.
The Trophy winner from last year was judged to have flung an arm at an opposition player and received a second yellow card, to follow up an earlier received card in the first half, and was quickly down the tunnel.
Reduced to ten men, Rovers upped their game, and Yan Klukowski saw his cleverly lifted effort palmed away by Ashton after the midfielder had burst through from a deep position.
Barnes-Homer was then inches away from heading in the subsequent Anthony Barry cross as the momentum of the second half began to develop.
James Dean's header from an Adam Mather cross for the hosts was straight into the arms of a relieved Sam Russell, while another Barnes-Homer attempt to get past Ashton, was kept out by the former Bolton Wanderers shot-stopper.
The pace of James Norwood almost saw the England C international score a wonder goal running from his own half, as the game drifted into its final quarter of an hour, and the hosts left Rovers nerves jangling.
Darren Stephenson's low edge of the box effort was well stopped by Russell through a sea of bodies as high on confidence Chorley chucked a number of crosses into the box.
Last ditch defending came to Rovers rescue on more than one occasion, but Ed Asafu-Adjaye's outstanding final moment block when Dean was about to pull the trigger in stoppage timed denied what looked like a certain goal.
Rovers survived the games late flurry of drama as the two sides meet once again on Tuesday in Gloucestershire with a place in the third round of the competition at stake.
Forest Green: S. Russell; J. Hodgkiss, J. Turley, D. Bennett, E. Asafu-Adjaye; J. Norwood, Y. Klukowski (J. Alabi 72), A. Barry (A. Racine 85), M. Kelly (A. Bangura 70); D. Wright, M. Barnes-Homer.
Subs not used: M. Taylor, A. McHugh.
Star Man: Jamie Turley.
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