The Magpies and the majority of the 506 spectators inside Victory Park were left shell-shocked as a rampant Rushall Olympic underlined their play-offs’ credentials with this runaway 6-1 win.
The visitors, unbeaten this year, proved physically stronger, better organised and altogether sharper in attack than a Chorley side unrecognisable from the one which a week previously had turned in such a sterling display to overcome AFC Fylde.
Frankly, the margin of defeat here could have been even greater.
Indecisive defending contributed to the Magpies’ downfall. A gift goal in the fifth minute following a mix-up between keeper Jack Cudworth and two defenders allowed Ahmed Obeng to walk the ball into an empty net.
Josh Craddock put Olympic two up on 20 minutes with a 35-yard screamer in-off the bar but in a high-tempo first half the Magpies pulled one back on 30 minutes when Andy Russell fired low into the net.
Chorley’s best spell of the match followed and only a brilliant diving save by Chris Gemmell denied Adam Roscoe an equaliser.
Walker however restored Rushall’s two-goals’ lead on 41 minutes with a cool strike from the edge of the box. Then the hard-working Roscoe was only just wide with a fine low shot on the turn before further calamitous defending enabled Walker to poach a crucial fourth seconds before the break.
There was little respite for Chorley in the second half, although debutant Cameron Darkwah did come close to reducing the arrears when he headed against the bar.
The game was finally up for Chorley on the hour. Obeng broke through on the right and was brought down by Cudworth, Walker calmly completing his hat-trick from the spot for Rushall’s fifth. The canny striker saved his best for last on 66 minutes, adding Olympic’s sixth with a slide-rule finish from a tight angle.
The chance to put Olympic supporters in seventh heaven with 15 minutes left went begging when Tom Ince tripped Kyle Haynes but this time Cudworth anticipated Walker’s penalty to pull off a smart save.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Kendal Town were 4-3 victors over Grantham Town and Southport defeated Nuneaton away 1-0 in the Conference Premier.
An afternoon of contrasting fortunes for the Mahoney brothers meant Bamber Bridge succumbed to a 3-1 home defeat to local rivals Clitheroe.
Brig midfielder Matt Mahoney was given a straight red card after just 38 minutes into the game for what was deemed to be a two footed lunge by referee Mark Cunliffe on the visitors’ Dean Canning.
Danny Mahoney, who left Bamber Bridge in October last year to join Clitheroe, returned to Irongate and capped an impressive performance by scoring a penalty against his former club to put the visitors 2-1 ahead on 53 minutes before they added a third late on.
Brig manager Neil Crowe said: “We were still in the game with two minutes to go, at 2-1 it was still wide open but being down to 10 men for an hour doesn’t help your cause.”
Clitheroe opened the scoring early on when Chirs Dykes’ shot cannoned in off the crossbar.
Brig drew level one minute after half time, full-back Ryan Thompson found space from a well delivered corner to nod home.
Thompson then went from hero to villain seven minutes later, a blatant push by him in the area was punished with a penalty and Danny Mahoney, drilled the ball down the middle to restore Clitheroe’s lead.
As much as Brig tried to force another equaliser they were undone late by substitute Isaac Kosacoki, who used his pace to skip past two defenders and place the ball past Brig keeper Lee Dovey.
Dave Challinor blasted his players’ performance as awful as AFC Fylde suffered a 2-1 defeat to FC United of Manchester.
He said: “I thought the performance was awful and that comes down to basics really. We were out-battled and out-run. They were bullied by a not overly-physical side.”
Michael Barnes had earlier given the Coasters the perfect start when his cross was headed past his own goalkeeper by Dean Stott after just four minutes but two second half goals from Matthew Wolfenden secured all three points for the promotion chasers.
His first goal arrived within minutes of the restart, as Wolfenden converted a rebounded ball which Adam Jones had fired against the bar.
The second goal eventually came on 68 minutes when Wolfenden received the ball in acres of space and was able to fire home unchallenged from 10 yards.
Lancaster City’s great run continued on Saturday as they recorded a second win over Ossett Albion in the space of a week. Lee Dodgson’s winner at Giant Axe came with 21 minutes remaining.
Burscough’s match with Prescot Cables was postponed.