Two uncharacteristic ‘howlers’ by the normally ultra-reliable Matt Urwin in the home goal presented Fylde and Nick Haughton in particular with two gift-goals.
In only the second minute, Urwin dallied in clearing a throw-in directed to him by Scott Leather and his delayed clearance was charged down by the alert Haughton, the ball rebounding and trickling into the corner of the net.
Worse was to follow for Urwin who allowed a speculative shot from Haughton to slip through his legs in the 16th minute.
The shell-shocked Magpies took time to recover from this double blow as the two-goals’ cushion gave the Coasters licence to produce some fine flowing football.
A Danny Philiskirk shot was cleared off the Chorley line by debutant Alex Senior as the visitors’ tally threatened to mount. But Chorley stuck boldly to the task only for Fylde keeper Bobby Jones to pull off a remarkable save from a deflected Connor Hall effort at close range.
At the other end, as the interval approached, Urwin redeemed himself with an athletic flying save to deny the outstanding Haughton a hat-trick, turning over his well-struck 25-yards’ free-kick.
Chorley resumed with real purpose after the break and after Haughton had spurned a good opening to add a third for Fylde the hosts were rewarded on the hour. Jon Ustabasi showed clever control to cut inside and shoot low and hard, the ball deflecting off Alex Whitmore past a wrong-footed Jones.
The tempo of this pot-boiler of a game never slackened with home fans in an excellent Tuesday-night crowd of 1,794 urging the Magpies to even greater effort. Fylde faded in the final quarter, too readily hustled off the ball, and it became a question of whether they could see the game out.
In a frantic finale, they looked to have done so until in the fifth minute of added time yet one more Chorley corner unhinged their defence.
Adam Blakeman’s precise delivery was flicked on and in a crowded goalmouth Mike Calveley tucked ball into the corner of the net to equalise as Victory Park erupted.
Jamie Vermiglio said post-match: ‘Tonight showed what we are all about. The players showed tremendous resolve and determination not to be beaten.
The squad has been stretched to the limit this past week and I’m intensely proud of every single player for the way they’ve coped against arguably the best team in the league.’
CHORLEY : Urwin, Senior (Shenton,90), Leather, Baines, Blakeman, Tomlinson, Calveley, Whitehouse, Ustabasi, Hall, Holmes (Blyth,73 – Smith, 79). Subs. not used : Okome, Price.