A superb individual goal by trialist Lee Trundle was the highlight as North End and Chorley shared the Jack Kirkland Trophy.
Trundle picked up the ball just inside the home side’s half and drove right at the half of the defence before a shimmy just outside the box gave him room to slide the ball left footed past Chorley keeper Andy Roberts on 27 minutes.
And whilst Chorley equalised just before the break with a close range effort from Kieran Kilheeney, it was a fluid and entertaining display in the opening period by the new look North End side.
Wearing the new bright pink third strip on a damp night, Graham Westley’s side started brightly with Trundle at the heart of much of the attacking fluency. He linked up well with Lee Holmes in the third minute to create an opening for Nicky Wroe; the midfielder’s 25 yard drive tipped over the bar by Roberts.
Holmes and Mousinho both had shots from a similar distance, forcing the keeper into smart saves as the North End midfield dominated proceedings.
But it was Trundle who was carving out the best opportunities, sliding a clever ball in for strike partner Graham Cummins midway through the half. The Irishman got a shot away, but Roberts managed to smother.
The custodian was having a fine game and he denied Cummins again shortly after. He originally spilled a snap shot from Trundle and the forward followed up, but Roberts managed to scramble the ball away from his left foot just in time.
The Magpies levelled on the stroke of half-time, completely against the run of play. Kilheeney was on hand six yards out to poke past trialist keeper Jose Moreira after a ball in from the right hand side had ricocheted into his path.
The second half, as was the case at Southport the previous Saturday, saw an almost complete change in personnel, only Nicky Wroe retained in the starting XI in the centre of midfield.
The summer recruit from Shrewsbury was a busy man in the early stages of the second period, an effort blocked 20 yards out, followed by a shot over the bar from similar distance. He also threaded Chris Beardsley through for a shot that whisked just over bar just before the hour mark.
Jeffrey Monakana was a bright spark after the interval as well and a jinking run on 61 minutes was brought to an abrupt end 20 yards out giving Nicky Wroe the chance to show off his skill at set pieces. His shot was up and over the wall but narrowly past the left hand upright.
The high tempo, slick passing of the first half was again evident from North End even after the changes with the chances all coming to the side in pink.
Jack King was re-introduced for Nicky Wroe with just over a quarter of an hour left in the game; King’s first outing in midfield, a position where he had won promotion with Woking the previous year. And he was close to giving the side the lead again on 84 minutes as he swept a right wing cross from Monakana goalwards, but it was straight at the home side’s keeper.
And with this the last real action, the Jack Kirkland Trophy was shared by the two local clubs.
PNE First Half XI: Jose Moreira, Keith Keane, Scott Laird, Shane Cansdell-Sherriff, Jack King, Joel Byrom, Nicky Wroe, John Mousinho, Lee Holmes, Graham Cummins, Lee Trundle.
PNE Second Half XI: Tony Warner, Tiago Rosa, Paul Huntington, Bailey Wright, David Buchanan, Nicky Wroe (Jack King, 74), Andy Procter, Will Hayhurst, Chris Beardsley, Chris Holroyd, Jeffrey Monakana.