The play-offs are still mathematically possible for Chorley who recorded a 3-1 victory over Gainsborough Trinity on a very wet day at Victory Park writes Elliott Walsh.
Matt Jansen's players looked lively from the off, pressing the Gainsborough players and forcing mistakes early on. Micah Evans unlucky not to control the ball following a charge down on Trinity keeper Jan Budtz.
But the first clear chance of the game led to the first goal. Chorley had won a free kick 35 yards from goal after Gainsborough defender Adam Quinn has needlessly handled. Dale Whitham assumed free kick duty and he duly curled in an exceptional delivery exactly where Kieran Charnock wanted and the defender made no mistake heading past Budtz, using all of the goal, and part of the keeper's right hand post.
Even with little to play for in the remainder of the season Gainsborough were not going to make things easy for Chorley. They looked to make an instant fightback. Brogran who had been playing in the middle found his was onto the left. His cross was low into Newsham's path, but the strikers improvisation wasn't white enough to flick past Sam Ashton.
The rain began to pour around Victory Park, and with puddles beginning to form it became difficult for both sides to adapt to the conditions. The Magpies though must have thought they had doubled the lead on half an hour. A series of corners had been parried away by Budtz. A short corner was taken to Cottrell who got his laces behind a hopeful ball into the area. After a scramble the ball hit the post before rebounding into Stephenson's path. He converted the open goal but the referee's assistant flagged, and after a brief discussion the officials decided to award offside.
Nathan Jarman looked to have put Gainsborough back into the game when play opened up kindly for him in the area. A fine block from Will Beesley kept the home side in front, denying the striker.
Evans looked a threat all afternoon with Gainsborough failing to pick up his movement. He cut inside from the left and was unfortunate to find the side netting. But that was forgotten a few minutes later. As Andy Teague got himself into a gold position out wide he crossed for Evans who had an easy header past Budtz and got the goal he deserved right on half time.
The rain showed no sign of stopping, and as conditions on the pitch became heavier it became frustrating to watch. Darren Stephenson with two chances early in the half but Budtz was equal to both to deny the striker.
Gainsborough managed to grab a goal and find a way back into the game as Jarman was played in by D'Laryea. His powerful effort from 18 yards beat Ashton at the near post and looked to send the game an interesting climax.
Stephenson had a golden opportunity to restore the lead from 6 yards from a Jarvis cross, but he was unable to make a clean contact with the delivery.
Jarvis was getting heavily involved down the left, but twice fell victim to the surface, putting two efforts over the crossbar as the pitch cut up badly with puddles forming in several places.
But the game was put beyond doubt when Stephenson picked up the ball 30 yards from goal. He moved forward by two paces and let a long range effort go which skidded off the surface and under the unfortunate Budtz.
Budtz redeemed himself to deny Teague late on as the Chorley captain looked to add a forth goal from 12 yards but I was wasn't to be. Another good save from Connerton's shot at the very end meant Chorley would have to settle for 3 in a good performance considering the conditions
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Will Beesley, Andy Teague, Keiran Charnock, Courtney Meppen-Walter, Paul Jarvis, Dale Whitham, Micah Evans, Darren Stephenson, Jake Cottrell
Subs: Jack Lynch, Adam Roscoe (Meppen-Walter), Connerton (Evans), Dorney, Correia (Stephenson)
Goals: KEIRAN CHARNOCK (10), MICAH EVANS (45), Nathan Jarman (61), DARREN STEPHENSON (79)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Courtney Meppen-Walter