There was no joy for Chorley and new manager Matt Jansen in his first match in charge as they went to a 3-2 home defeat against Nuneaton.
The Magpies paid for a slow start on the opening day of the new National League North season which allowed Nuneaton’s full-timers to seize the initiative and race into a two-goals’ lead.
Slick, sharp and composed on the ball, the visitors made the most of the space and time allowed them by the home side and could have been even further ahead before Chorley got a foothold in the game.
Yet it was so different after the break, with Nuneaton forced to withstand a bombardment of their goal.
They survived several remarkable escapes and were ultimately fortunate to take all three points.
Joe Maguire headed them into a sixth-minute lead, rising above the defence to plant a free header into the corner of the net.
Nuneaton’s star signing, last season’s Northern Premier League golden boot award-winner Aaron Williams, missed a clear chance to double the lead, firing against the advancing Sam Ashton’s legs after breaking clear.
But he showed his credentials on 34 minutes when set free by Callum Chettle’s incisive solo run, easily beating Ashton with a precisely-placed cross-shot.
Chorley got back into the game three minutes later with a fine goal.
James Dean played in Josh Hine down the right and he raced to the by-line before cutting the ball back to Marcus Carver who brilliantly executed a difficult header to find the back of the net.
With the Magpies now more buoyant, Dean whipped in a fierce angled drive well held by keeper Jordan Smith.
After the interval, Chris Almond had a strong shot charged down before Smith arched himself to tip Hine’s 10-yard drive over the bar.
The home side were now well on top and Nuneaton repeatedly packed their penalty area to repel the raiders.
Hine was again denied when his low drive through a crowd of players was hacked off the line with Smith beaten
But against the run of play, Nuneaton grabbed a third goal.
A free-kick was cleared to the edge of the box where David Morgan was given time and room to crack a low drive into the far corner of the net.
It was a two-goal cushion the visitors needed as Chorley piled on the pressure.
Numerous shots were blocked but on 86 minutes Hine finally and deservedly got on the scoresheet, netting easily from a Darren Stephenson lay-off. Nuneaton defended for their lives in the remaining minutes and Carver in particular was unlucky to see a firm downward header smuggled to safety with time running out.
“We just didn’t start well enough,” said Jansen afterwards.
“But we battered them second half and on another day might have won 5-3. It just wouldn’t go in for us.”
CHORLEY : Ashton, Ross, Dodd, Teague, Flynn, Sheridan (Roscoe,58), Hine, Whitham, Dean (Guy,81), Carver, Almond (Stephenson,66). Unused subs. Charnock, Jarvis.