It was an all too familiar story at rain-and-gale-lashed Victory Park where the Magpies were beaten by a goal in the fifth minute of added time by North Ferriby United.
For the third time in the last four league games, Chorley were undone after the 90-minute mark, a total loss of four precious points.
Ironically on this occasion most of the extra minutes were caused by the referee’s need for treatment. Carlisle official Kevin Mulraine then failed to pull up Ferriby substitute Curtis Bateson who was clearly offside as he ran through to net the winner with virtually the last kick of a compelling match played in atrocious conditions.
Both teams deserved enormous credit for the entertainment provided in a full-blooded encounter.
Chorley took the game to the visitors right from the start and were good value for their two-goal half-time lead.
The Humbersiders responded with great resolution after the interval but were still behind as the clock showed the 89th minute. What happened next completely stunned the home fans in a crowd of 675. Once again, as against Bradford Park Avenue and Gainborough, it was the opposition’s substitutes who delivered the hammer-blows.
In a lively opening period, the North Ferriby goal had several close calls, notably when what looked a clear handball on the edge of the six-yards’ box went unpunished and when Adam Roscoe at the far post scooped a raking cross ball over the bar from three yards.
Chorley deservedly went ahead on 36 minutes following a fine move down the left, Darren Stephenson pulling the ball back to Jake Cottrell whose fierce shot was only parried by keeper Tom Nicholson.
Opportunist Josh Hine was on hand to smash home his 10th goal of the season. Two minutes later Cottrell himself doubled the lead, bursting through the middle to leave Nicholson standing with a daisy-cutter into the corner of the net from 25-yards.
North Ferriby introduced hot-shot Ryan Kendall at half-time and he was instrumental in his side’s successful fightback.
He raced onto a neat through ball in the 64th minute and coolly lifted his shot beyond the advancing Sam Ashton to kick-start the visitors’ revival.
But the Magpies responded boldly and substitute Jack Lynch was inches away with a well-struck low drive just past the post. He should have done better minutes later when he met a Stephenson low centre only to lift the ball over the bar from close range. Sam Cosgrove likewise missed a clear chance when sent through on goal.
Ultimately these misses cost Chorley dear. From Kendall’s pass, Liam King equalised with time running out and then deep into stoppage time Kendall released Bateson who finished with aplomb though looking well offside.
Manager Matt Jansen remained upbeat despite the reverse. “Every single one of the players gave everything. I couldn’t fault anyone.
“We battered them in the first half and started well in the second but it was another case of things not happening for us in the last 20 minutes. The third goal was yards offside. Everyone could see that. We are all remaining positive and we will put things right.’
CHORLEY : Ashton, Ross, Cartwright, Teague, Roscoe (Lynch), Cottrell, Hine, Whitham, Dean (Cosgrove), Bond, Stephenson.