Chorley had to come from a goal behind to record a second successive New Year three-one victory; this time with Grantham providing the opposition.
A 20th minute penalty conversion form Alex Burbeary gave the The Gingerbreads the lead, but the Magpies were level soon after thanks to James Dean, then second half goals from Josh Hine and Dale Whitham closed the gap on league leaders Skelmersdale United to a single point while still holding three games in hand on the West Lancs club.
Prior to kick-off there were mixed emotions. First the great news that EnviroCare have agreed to a significant sponsorship deal to have their company name on the away shirts for the next three seasons, then the sad news that former Chorley midfielder Paul Comstive had passed away, aged just 52; there was a minutes applause for the former Wigan, Burnley, Bolton & Chester player
After a quiet opening Josh Hine miscued the first Chorley chance on 17 minutes following a nice move involving Darren Stephenson and Dean, then two minutes later disaster for the home side as Grantham were awarded a penalty following a handball by Keil O’Brien; Burbeary netted sending Sam Aston the wrong way.
Grantham couldn’t compete with Chorley’s passing game and Whitham forced a fingertip save from the visitors keeper Dan Haystead with a thunderous shot on the half hour mark.
Six minutes later the score line was levelled when Dean tapped in following excellent work on the flank from Hine.
Whitham forced another save from Haystead, while Grantham continued to test the Magpies backline.
After the break Whitham again was looking for goal this time his effort was blocked when it looked destined for the bottom corner.
Chorley continued to create opening, but it wasn’t all one way traffic with chief orchestrator Jamie Jackson forcing a save from Ashton
Just before the hour mark Paul Jarvis joined the action in place of Darren Stephenson and seven minutes later the Magpies were in front.
Dean dinked the ball over the defence to the advancing Hine who for the second game in succession logged the visiting keeper to put the Magpies in front and for two minutes back at the top of the league as Skelmersdale were at the time losing at Whitby by the same score.
Where as in the North East Skem found an equaliser, this wouldn’t be the case in the North West and after several near missed the third and decisive goal was bagged by Whitham, volleying home from a Jarvis cross on 75 minutes.
Chorley XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Keil O'Brien, Dale Whitham, Josh Hine, Paul Woolcott, James Dean, Darren Stephenson, Jake Cottrell
Subs: Paul Jarvis (Stephenson, 57), Adam Roscoe (Dean, 78), Jamie Vermiglio, Simon Wiles, Alex Meaney
Goals: Alex Burbeary (20), JAMES DEAN (36), JOSH HINE (64), DALE WHITHAM (76)