Third-placed Chorley made up ground on second-placed Darlington in National League North thanks to a 2-0 victory at Gainsborough Trinity, writes Holly Hunt.
In an eventful contest Dom Roma’s Trinity matched the Magpies throughout before losing to two clinical finishes late in the game.
Things could have been different if Marcus Carver’s 45-yard lob in the first half had found the goal instead of the roof of the net after Trinity keeper George Willis raced off his line, but failed to beat Carver to the ball.
The keeper’s blushes were spared when the lob just went over and it gave Trinity a chance to pose a goal threat of their own.
The Blues were only denied a breakthrough by the woodwork.
Loan starlet Matty Templeton, who continued to impress, put in a cross that Jordan Thewlis struggled to keep down.
The forward directed his header on to the Chorley bar instead of into the back of the net.
A main talking point from the game at the Martin & Co Arena was an altercation between all the players.
It stemmed from a challenge by Chorley full back Adam Blakeman on Thewlis.
As home fans called for a red card, there was a heated exchange between rival captains Nathan Jarman and Dale Whitham, which resulted in a yellow card apiece.
Jarman was at the heart of the action again in the secdond half.
Trinity’s number 10 tried something new from a free-kick.
is set-piece was floated over the wall rather than drilled low and forced Shaun Rowley to push the ball to safety.
Trinity had another chance from the following corner but Jake Picton was denied — not for the first time — by a deflection.
Chorley’s clinical finishing since the start of the season was again in evidence in the 74th minute.
Dale Whitham’s speedy reactions allowed him to gobble up the rebound from an initially-blocked shot, with keeper Willis stranded on the ground after his attempt to block the first effort.
Substitute Alex Samizadeh put the final nail in Trinity’s coffin when he showed why he is so highly rated at League One club Bolton Wanderers.
The loan striker controlled the ball and fired into the corner at Willis’ far post.
The booking the youngster received for his celebration failed to dampen his spirits as he celebrated netting on his debut.
Gainsborough Trinity: George Willis, Jake Picton, Josh Lacey (Reece Hands 85) Matt Thornhill, Adam Quinn, Matt Wilson, Jordan Thewlis, Alex Wiles, Ashley Worsfold (James Reid 71) Nathan Jarman, Matthew Templeton.Subs not used: Dominic Roma, Bradley Beatson, Ioan Evans.
Chorley: Shaun Rowley, Matt Challoner, Adam Blakeman (Will Beesley 89), Nathan Sheron, Stephen Jordan, Adam Roscoe, Dale Whitham, Marcus Carver, Jason Walker (Alex Samizadah 80), Jake Cottrell. Subs not used: Josh O’Keefe, Waqas Azam, Dan Cowan.
Referee: Mr Kevin Sarsfield.