Gainsborough Trinity 3 Chorley 4
Chorley banished the blues of their midweek FA Cup exit with a scintillating first-half display which effectively wrapped up the three points inside the opening half-hour of their Conference North trip to Gainsborough Trinity.
Such was the Magpies’ dominance that it was unimaginable that they would not stroll to victory in the second half.
But in the end Chorley astonishingly needed all four of their goals to see them through.
To their credit, Trinity gave it a real go after manager Steve Housham’s application of the ‘hairdrier’ during the interval.
And, aided by a benevolent penalty decision, the home side had their tails up in the closing stages at 4-2 behind.
Though they pulled a third goal back deep into added time, it was too late and in truth Chorley had won a shade more comfortably than the final score might suggest.
“We were brilliant first half,” said Chorley manager Garry Flitcroft.
“The lads are just gutted in the dressing-room that they have conceded three.
“I always felt we would see the game out and but for the soft penalty decision we would have been quite comfortable.”
Flitcroft, who was ordered to the stand by the referee late on for passing comment on the penalty decision, added: ‘ I was actually in the dressing room for the stoppage-time goal and didn’t know which team had scored.”
Chorley’s victory was fashioned in an electrifying 11-minutes spell which produced all four goals.
It was a master-class of away-day destruction built on rapid, penetrating counter-attacks.
A Jake Cottrell miscue was finished by Jack Dorney on 18 minutes and then a pair of goals from Josh Hine in three minutes were pure quality, Harry Winter supplying the incisive through-balls for Hine to race onto.
He cleverly turned his marker for the first and then raced through unchallenged to beat keeper Jan Budtz with an exquisite lob.
Dale Whitham completed the goal spree on 29 minutes with a neat header from a corner.
A fine strike by Liam Davis opened Trinity’s account in the 52nd minute and the hosts began to move the ball much better without really threatening a goal.
But a penalty on 78 minutes when Dominic Roma went to ground gave Simon Russell the chance to make it 4-2 with a rising textbook spot-kick.
Roma’s goal in the 94th minute further eased the home fans’ pain.
But the Magpies were good value for a psychologically important victory which keeps them in fourth place in the Conference North.
CHORLEY: Nizic, Ross, Jarvis, Teague, Smythe, Winter (Lynch 88), Hine, Whitham, Dean (Simm 90), Cottrell, Dorney (Almond 84). Subs (not used): Mulholland, Grundy.