If workhorse Adam Roscoe was ultimately Chorley’s late matchwinner, it was essentially a thoroughly disciplined team performance which brought the Magpies a hugely important 1-0 victory at AFC Fylde.
Victory lifted the Magpies into sixth, a point away from a play-offs slot, and at the same time deal a hammer-blow to Fylde’s hopes of landing the NPLPremier Division title.
The visitors successfully kept it tight at the back and cashed in on the dismissal of Fylde’s Harry Winter early in the second half to finally gain control and snatch three points in the second minute of added time, courtesy of Roscoe’s bullet header.
It was the first time this season that free-scoring Fylde had failed to find the net in a league match at Kellamergh Park.
And when they did suddenly look set to maintain their record midway through the second half Chorley keeper Jack Cudworth denied them with three top-class saves.
Proceedings were relatively quiet in the first half, though Fylde’s James Dean and Paul Jarvis both had shots charged down around the half-hour mark.
Chorley’s Dale Whitham saw his attempted chip over the keeper clear the bar and Darren Stephenson mis-hit a volley narrowly wide.
Winter’s ill-judged lunge on Andy Teague in the 47th minute earned a red card and Chorley, boosted by the introduction of the crafty John Cunliffe, became more adventurous.
But it took a superb double save by Cudworth from Dean and Jack Dorney, followed by a full-stretch tip over the bar from a Jarvis free-kick, to keep Chorley on terms.
The Magpies, however, looked increasingly the more likely team to grab a winner late on.
Fylde keeper Ben Hinchcliffe held a strong Kiel O’Brien header under the bar, Whitham spurned a clear chance with a close-range header and Andy Russell was desperately unlucky to rattle a post.
But in stoppage time Roscoe ghosted in to meet a well-flighted Cunliffe corner with a thumping header and seal a memorable win, much to the raucous delight of the sizeable Chorley contingent in a crowd of 416.
Elsewhere in the NPL Premier Division, Kendal Town hit visitors Eastwood Town for six without reply.
Kendal’s scorers in the romp were Simon Rawnsley (2), Maison McGeechan, Michael Rushton (2) and Aaron Helliwell.
In the First Division North, a late, late goal from Jesus Martin-Farina saw Harrogate Railway Athletic nick all three points in a drab affair at Burscough’s Victoria Park.
The Harrogate striker netted deep in to injury time, much against the run of play, to secure the win for the visitors.
In a game short on chances, Louis Mayers threatened down the left for Burscough, firing wide early on and causing problems throughout.
The Linnets dominated possession but were unable to create any gilt-edged chances with the lack of the final ball and fluidity that saw them trounce Skelmersdale United in midweek.
Harrogate struck the sucker punch in the dying seconds as Martin-Farina tapped in from six yards.
And there was home disappointment for Clitheroe too, as they went down 2-0 to Ossett Town.
Carl Stewart and Joseph Thornton got the visitors’ goals either side of the interval.
But there were double celebrations on the road for Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City.
Brig were 5-1 winners at New Mills in the High Peak, with goals from Ryan Thompson, Daniel Wilkins and an Andrew Bell hat-trick.
The Dolly Blues won 3-0 at Ossett Albion, as Darren Green, a Aodhan Brownlee own goal and a late Aaron Taylor strike gave them the three points.
In the Conference Premier, Southport let a two-goal lead at Hereford United slip and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
Shaun Whalley scored twice for Port.
Bowman (75) and O’Keefe (84) got United’s goals.