Chorley 4 Gainsborough Trinity 0
A game of massive importance to both teams was comprehensively won by the play-off chasing Chorley as they put Gainsborough to the sword.
After a fairly even opening period of play, Chorley proved too strong for relegation-threatened Trinity who surrendered tamely once behind, prompting manager Dave Frecklington to describe his side’s hapless performance as ‘an absolute car crash’.
Star of the show was Jason Walker who claimed a hat-trick but this was a team effort of real distinction and fully deserving of the margin of victory which could in the end have been even greater.
The first half was a scrappy affair – but Chorley went ahead in the 38th minute, the result of clever play by Dale Whitham who worked his way along the by-line before crossing low for Walker to touch the ball over the line from point-blank range. Gainsborough had one clear chance to score just after the break when Jordan Thewlis went through on goal, Ritchie Branagan rescuing the Magpies by racing off his line to block the shot.
Chorley’s lead was doubled on 54 minutes. Adam Blakeman played a quickly-taken free-kick down the right, releasing Whitham who squared the ball for Walker to sidefoot his second goal.
Only the woodwork spared Trinity following a corner before a through-ball in the 74th minute sent Whitham and Marcus Carver on the attack.
The former did well to supply Carver with a clear shooting chance, the striker calmly firing past keeper Tom Nicholson.
Four minutes later Trinity skipper Matty Wilson upended Walker as he cut into the box, presenting him with the opportunity to complete his hat-trick from the spot which he did without fuss.
Wilson already booked just minutes earlier was shown the red card. The win takes Chorley back into a play-offs slot and boss Matt Jansensaid: “We asked for a reaction after last week’s poor show. Their energy levels today were typical of our season and they showed exactly the mentality needed to see us into the play-offs.’
CHORLEY: Branagan, Challoner, Jarvis, Teague, Leather, Jordan (Charnock,78), Blakeman, Whitham, Carver (O’Keefe,83), Walker (Myers,81), Cottrell. Unused subs. Beesley, Roscoe.
Elsewhere in the National League North, leaders AFC Fylde produced a sensational display to see off promotion-hopefuls Darlington 4-1.
Sam Finley opened the scoring early on before Danny Rowe doubled the advantage on the hour-mark. Darlington pulled one back through Gary Brown however Dan Bradley restored the cushion before Rowe sealed the result from the spot after Kevin Burgess had been dismissed for deliberate handball.