The Magpies soared to a season’s high second place in the Vanarama National League North thanks for a convincing four-one win over play-off contenders Gloucester City.
Despite plenty of rain and hail falling in the hours before kick-off, The Chorley Group Victory Park Stadium’s playing surface was ready of action at 3pm as 3rd entertained 7th.
The visitors, whose supporters endured a lengthy trip north and only arrived minutes before kick-off, were dealt an early blow with experienced defender and Gloucester legend Tom Webb, who has over 650 appearances for the club, picking up an injury in the opening 10 minutes forcing him to be substituted.
Top scorer Jason Walker had an early shout for a penalty turned down on 17 minutes, but just two minutes later nearly everyone in the ground was shouting for joy for what must surley be a contender for goal of the season.
Jake Cottrell doesn’t often get his name on the scoresheet and today’s effort confirmed a case of quality over quantity as his swerving drive to 25 yards left visiting keeper Jasbir Singh grasping at thin air as his striker veered massively from right to left to beat the keeper.
The one goal lead was doubled on 36 minutes when Marcus Carver capitalised on a mistake from Singh. The keeper misjudged the role of the ball, giving Marcus the opportunity to nip the ball round him to slot into an empty goal.
Gloucester started the second half better than they were throughout the first period, but apart from an occasional long range effort Shaun Rowley’s goal was mainly untroubled while Walker and Carver were a threat at the other end.
The second half stalemate was broken on 68 minutes when Luke Hopper converted a free-kick giving the visitors a glimmer of hope.
On 76 minutes 18-year-old Alex Samizadeh came off the bench for the bruised Marcus Carver and the work experience player from Bolton Wanderers marked his home debut in the same way as he marked his club debut last week at Gainsborugh; with a goal. Walker played an inch perfect ball into Samizadeh who calmly rounded the keeper before slotting home
Three minutes later the goalscoring was completed when Walker converted a penalty his won, slotting beyond Singh’s outstretch right hand.
With both Darlington and Halifax losing Chorley moved into second place, three points clear of Darlo who drop to 3rd and five clear of 4th placed Tamworth.
Starting XI: Shaun Rowley, Matt Challenor, Adam Blakeman, Nathan Sheron, Scott Leather, Stephen Jordan, Adam Roscoe, Josh O'Keefe, Marcus Carver, Jason Walker, Jake Cottrell.
Subs: Paul Jarvis, Will Beesley (Blakeman, 87), Alex Samizadeh (Carver, 76), Dan Cowan, Waqas Azam (Walker, 89)
Goals: JAKE COTTRELL (19), MARCUS CARVER (26), Luke Hopper (68), ALEX SAMIZADEH (82), JASON WALKER (85 pen)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Adam Roscoe, a tower of strength in front of the back three