A stirring second half fightback wasn’t enough to rescue Gainsborough Trinity from a third straight defeat, as they paid the price for the first half from hell.
Four goals in 11 first half minutes set visiting Chorley up for victory, although the Blues gave it a good go, only to lose 4-3.
The period between the 18th and 29th minutes saw the Magpies gather an unassailable lead and led to many fans leaving the Martin and Co Arena early.
A tactical change saw Trinity score three goals in the second half to cause a nervy finish for the travelling Chorley support.
Second half goals from Liam Davis, Simon Russell and Dominic Roma gave Gainsborough hope of salvaging what would have been an historic comeback.
Speaking after the game, Blues boss Steve Housham, was damning in his verdict of the team’s performance.
He said: “The first half, for 18 minutes, it was quite an even contest and low and behold from our corner, they scored on the break.”
“It changed the emphasis of the game.”
“It knocked the stuffing out of our players and every time they went forward, they looked as if they were going to score.”
“Their front three were a threat all game and all they did was what we didn’t do, which was work hard.”
“That is the basics of football.”
Trinity were initially unlucky to go behind as a rather scuffed effort found it’s way to Jack Dorney and he nodded home.
Three minutes later and the visitors were two up.
A sweeping move from their own box ended with Josh Hine turning in the box and coolly slotting home.
The same man made it three.
A long punt over the defence saw the former Southport striker through on goal with a bouncing ball and Hine expertly lobbed the on rushing Jan Budtz, all before Dale Whitham headed home a corner to end a fantastic period of destruction from the Lancashire club.
Housham knew how preventable the first half collapse was.
He said: “You can’t start games like that and expect to win matches.”
“You can call it a first half freak show as all the goals could have been prevented.”
“I came in at half-time and said that I didn’t want to lose the second half and in the end we almost snatched a draw out of it.”
“They showed a bit of pride in the second half, which was pleasing, but it shouldn’t need me to come in and tell them that.”
There was certainly pride in the second half performance and Davis, scorer of the first, was the driving force behind it.
The midfielder hit a powerful shot on the half volley to give Trinity hope eight minutes after the break.
The Blues could see that more damage could be done to high flying Chorley, as they began to try and see out the game.
The Magpies were relatively effective until a driving run by skipper Roma, forced a dangling leg to come out and trip the ex Sheffield United full back.
Simon Russell stepped up to calmly dispatch the penalty into the top corner.
The tension was clearly getting to the visitors as their manager Garry Flitcroft was sent off for constantly haranguing the referee and kicking the ball away at any opportunity.
Roma managed to get his name on the score sheet in the seconds before the final whistle but time had run out on the Trinity comeback.
The damage had already been delivered in the first half and the Blues could not rise from the ashes to grab a point.
Gainsborough Trinity: Budtz, Roma ©, Davie (Lacey 75), Roberts (Binns 45), Quinn, Picton, Russell, Toner, Beesley, Bateson, Davis (Stamp 75). Subs (not used): Salt, Higginson.
Chorley: Nizec, Ross, Jarvis, Teague ©, Smyth, Winter (Lynch 88), Hine, Whitham, Dean (Simms 90), Cottrell, Dorney (Almond 84). Subs (not used): Mullholland, Grundy.
Gaiunsborough Goalscorers: Davis (53), Russell (pen 77), Roma (90).
Chorley Goalscorers: Dorney (18), Hine (21,23), Whitham (29).
Referees: Mr P Davison. Assistants: Mr D Whating, Mr S Porter.