Tamworth 3, Chorley 4

Marcus Carver scored the winner for Chorley
Marcus Carver scored the winner for Chorley

An epic victory on an afternoon of high drama edged Chorley closer to securing a place in the National League North play-offs.

An epic victory on an afternoon of high drama edged Chorley closer to securing a place in the National League North play-offs.

But it was a heart-breaking defeat for the hosts who led 3-1 on the hour-mark only to be relegated after the never-say-die Magpies rattled in three goals in a stunning 15-minute rally .

This was a real test of stamina for Chorley, playing their third match in five days, and manager Matt Jansen afterwards rightly hailed his players’ ‘strength of character and tremendous fitness.

Both sides played with ten men for seventy minutes after Chorley’s Adam Blakeman was dismissed for a dangerous challenge and Tamworth’s Regan Upton was also sent off for his part in the wholesale scuffle which ensued.

The Lambs had gone ahead on 16 minutes when Dior Angus forced a brave save from Matt Urwin who was unlucky to see the ball rebound from the striker and spin into the net.

Chorley were level on 50 minutes when a dangerous cross from Marcus Carver was sliced into his own net by Andy Burns under pressure from the lurking Matty Hughes.

Then two goals in a dramatic four minutes put Tamworth seemingly in the driving seat. Darryl Knights centred perfectly for substitute Akwasi Asante to score and then Luke Jones nodded in a free-kick at the far post to make it 3-1.

Chorley’s response was almost instant, the impressive Hughes setting up O’Keefe who curled a delightful shot into the corner of the net.

On 65 minutes O’Keefe was on target again, levelling the scores with a simple headed finish from Lee Molyneux’s inviting cross.

After Carver had missed a clear chance from eight yards, he redeemed himself in the 77th minute with an expert finish into the corner of the net from Hughes’ sublime through-ball.

Carver blazed over the bar with the chance to wrap up victory late on and in the end only a magnificent save by Urwin from a Bradley Reid header in added time kept the Magpies ahead.

CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Anson, Jordan (Molyneux,25), Newby (Brewster,86), Whitham, Carver, Hughes (Cottrell,82), O’Keefe. Unused subs. Walker, Darr.

Attendance : 732.