Chorley 4, Darlington 1
A scintillating display of attacking football brought Chorley aÂ convincing victory over Darlington at Victory Park to the delight of their fans in a crowd of 1,011.
The visitors had no answer to the relentless raids of the home side in a superb first half and the only surprise was that a shaky Darlington defence leaked only three goals in a torrid 45 minutes for them.
Needless to say, the Quakers made a better fist of it after the break, when their manager no doubt administered the ‘hair-dryer’ during the interval, and they pulled a goal back. But the Magpies were not to be denied for long and duly killed the game with a fourth goal.
As in the first half, their goal-tally might easily have been greater.
Jason Walker put Chorley ahead in the third minute from a penalty awarded for hand-ball and after clever work by Nick Haughton.
Matt Challoner tapped in a second goal on 32 minutes. The otherwise very industrious Marcus Carver missed two straightforward chances in front of goal and Adam Blakeman rattled the bar with a cracking shot from twenty-five yards.
The inevitable third Chorley goal arrived shortly before the interval, a simple tap-in for Walker after a link-up with Carver.
Darlington reduced the arrears through substitute Harvey Saunders’ close-range finish on 58 minutes and there was a brief hint of a closer contest.
However, Josh O’Keefe should have settled matters when sent clean through but shot against keeper Adam Bartlett.
The Darlington stopper pulled off a world-class save to tip aside a screamer from Blakeman and Walker was denied a clear penalty when hauled back inside the box.
Haughton finally claimed Chorley’s fourth when he dinked the ball past Bartlett after a clever build-up down the left, while O’Keefe struck a post as the Magpies remained goal-hungry right to the end.