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Dover Athletic 1-1 Chorley: Whites held to draw after Ricky Modeste opener

Dover were forced to settle for a point as they were held to a 1-1 against Chorley at Crabble on Saturday.

Ricky Modeste marked his return from international duty with a goal when he slotted the hosts ahead mid-way through the first half.

Chris Holroyd was then first to react to the rebound from Josh O'Keefe's shot to equalise for the National League newcomers after Dover had squandered several chances following the restart.

Dover goalscorer Ricky Modeste takes aim against Chorley. Picture: Alan Langley
Dover goalscorer Ricky Modeste takes aim against Chorley. Picture: Alan Langley

Manager Andy Hessenthaler named three changes to the side that lost 3-1 at Boreham Wood, with injured skipper Kevin Lokko making way for Scott Doe at the centre of defence.

Alfie Pavey and Bilel Hinchiri also dropped out, with Aaron Simpson and Modeste coming into the starting line-up - the latter of whom recently returned from international duty with Grenada.

Chorley showed no hesitation in throwing men forward early on in what proved to be a slow-burner at Crabble.

Frontman Marcus Carver provided an early insight into his pace as he raced in-behind on the left-hand side, only to be halted by a recovering slide tackle from Doe.

The visitors then enjoyed an composed spell of possession in search of a gap in the Dover back four, switching from left-to-right on two occasions before seeing Matt Challonor's dangerous cross collected by Lee Worgan.

A game lacking any notable pattern always required a moment of quality in the final-third to break the deadlock, and it was Dover who were able to produce that in the 19th minute.

Jai Reason had shown superb persistence to win a second ball deep in Chorley's half, finding Inih Effiong who then slipped in Modeste for a clinical left-footed finish into the far corner.

It could have been 2-0 a minute later when Reason's cross found an unmarked Effiong in the box, only for the striker to slice his volley wide before looking up to see the offside flag raised anyway - much to his relief.

Dover were able to assert their hold on the game as the half progressed, penning Chorley in with some patient build-up play.

Nevertheless, their opponents continued to threaten going forward upon regaining possession, with Alex Newby and Josh O'Keefe in particular finding some dangerous positions in between Dover's midfield and defensive lines.

Dover defender Scott Doe clears against Chorley. Picture: Alan Langley
Dover defender Scott Doe clears against Chorley. Picture: Alan Langley

Dover were first to threaten after the restart, Effiong placing his shot wide after being played through on the right-hand side of the box.

Worgan produced a stunning reflex save at the other end to keep out Holroyd's first time volley, unaware that the offside flag had been raised anyway.

A driving run from Jack Munns drew a foul on the edge of the Chorley penalty area, however Effiong could only hit his effort wide of the post.

With the game approaching the hour mark, Whites' top scorer found himself with a glorious chance to double his side's lead and take his season tally to seven.

Having been released in-behind by Modeste's flick-on, Effiong raced clear in a one-on-one situation but fired his shot straight at goalkeeper Billy Crellin.

That miss was punished in the 67th minute when Holroyd pounced on the rebound from O'Keefe's save shot to tap home an equaliser in a packed Dover penalty area.

Effiong was then at the centre of another good opportunity, the No.9 creating some space on the edge of the box but taking too many touches and overlooking the wide-open Nassim L'Ghoul.

Chorley seemed content to threaten on the break late on in the second half as Dover struggle to orchestrate many clear-cut chances of their own.

That plan almost paid dividends when substitute Adam Blakeman found himself in acres of space on the left-hand side in a quick break, only for his driven effort to be kept out by a vital goalline block from Will de Havilland.

Dover: Worgan, Passley, De Havilland, Doe, Simpson (Pavey 78mins), Munns (L'Ghoul 61mins), Woods (c), Gobern, Modeste, Reason, Effiong (Rigg 82mins). Subs not used: Mersin, Rooney.

Chorley: Crellin, Challoner, Teague (c), Leather, Meppen-Walters, Alex Newby (Elliott Newby 88 mins), O'Keefe, Carver, Cottrell, Baines (Blakeman 65mins), Holroyd (Massanka 85mins). Subs not used: Ross, Dodds.

Attendance: 1,011

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