Chorley got back to winning ways, coming from behind to beat Bradford Park Avenue in front of a bumper Boxing Day crowd at The Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium.
On a heavy pitch, Chorley made the early running, but struggling Bradford, buoyed on by the performance in the last away match, their only away success this season, grabbed a goal mid-way through the first half and the game was in the balance at the interval. However a strong start after the break was followed by two strikes from Josh Hine ensured the festivities continued in the club after the game.
In the opening exchanges visiting keeper, ex-Chester stopper Jon Danby, showed his class to make a number of key saves and interceptions while centre back Billy Priestley was on top form keeping James Dean otherwise quiet.
Former Bradford City starlet and current Park Avenue captain Joe Colbeck blotted his day’s performance early on with a blatant dive in the box which referee Mr Copeland rightly produced a yellow card for.
Danby started off by denying Hine twice in the opening ten minutes then made a great save to keep out a strike from Dean on fifteen minutes. The striker receiving a flick on from Dale Whitham in midfield who was flicking on an Aaron Grundy clearance.
Grundy punched clear Avenue’s first corner two minutes after his near assist as the visitors edged back into the contest, then on 22 minutes the visitors were awarded a free-kick outside the box and the visitors took the lead.
The ball into the box was nodded across the face of the goal and Chib Chilaka’s looping effort sailed over everyone before dipping under the bar an into the bottom corner of the goal.
The Magpies restarted and Hine advanced down the right flank, and just as he was about to cross into the box the ball spun up off a bobble that made it look like a Shane Warne delivery - both sides were playing each other and the pitch!!!
Danby was at it again, saving well from Dale Whitham, while Danny Frost at the other end tried his luck from distance twice without success, then from closer range he shot straight at Grundy.
After the interval Andy Teague glancing a Paul Jarvis cross agonisingly wide, then a goalmouth scramble in the Chorley area was cleared to safety with Avenue going close to doubling their lead.
Danby was at it again, collecting a dangerously whipped in corner; Hine dragged a left footed effort inches wide of Danby’s upright then Jarvis blasted high and wide as the home side looked to level the score.
Just after the hour mark Harry Winter came on for Lynch and immediately the mercurial midfielder had an impact on the game, advancing from the half way line with the ball he released Hine with a perfect pass and the striker slammed the ball under Danby to send the festive crowd ecstatic - except for around 80 Avenue fans that is!
The next ten minutes was akin to a boxing contest, with both sides trading jabs but few clear cut chances coming from the spell.
Chris Simm replaced Jarvis on 71 minutes.
Hine played a one-two with Whitham but that man Danby was there again, then Adam Mather raced in at the back post to get on the end of a Winter cross, but the full-backs diving header went agonisingly wide.
Mark Ross replaced Kyle Jacobs to conclude the home side substitutions on 75 minutes.
Bradford has a glorious chance to regain the lead when Richard Marshall found himself with just Grundy to beat, but his 12 yard effort went wide, and a minute later Avenue paid the penalty for this miss as Hine netted the winner.
A Mark Ross delivery into the box was helped on by Teague and Hine’s flicked effort sailed over Danby and dipped just under the bar in not too dissimilar fashion to the opening goal of the game.
Neither side tested either keeper, with the exception of a deflected looping effort from Lamin Colley which looped into Grundy’s arms, in the remainder of the game as Chorley deservedly turned the game around to earn another valuable three points as the club moved back up to fourth in the Conference North.
Starting XI: Aaron Grundy, Kyle Jacobs, Adam Mather, Andy Teague, Chris Doyle, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Jack Lynch, Paul Jarvis
Subs: Adam Roscoe, Mark Ross (Jacobs, 75), Chris Simm (Jarvis, 71), Harry Winter (Lynch, 63), Sam Ashton
Goals: Chib Chilaka (23), JOSH HINE (65, 79)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Josh Hine, a performance reminiscent of many of his last season, hopefully more to follow before the end of April