Out-of-form leaders Chorley’s winless streak stretched to five games as an in-form Spennymoor overturned a one-goal deficit to snatch the points in a compelling second half which simmered to a tempestuous finish.
An erratic performance by referee Steve Copeland tested the patience of players and spectators and it was his harsh-looking award of a penalty for handball which ultimately separated the teams in a game which perhaps neither side deserved to lose.
Chorley had the better of a fast-paced first half without really extending Moors’ keeper Matt Gould, decent shots by Adam Blakeman and Josh Wilson producing only routine saves.
The visitors looked lively on the break but Matt Urwin was not seriously tested in the home goal.
The excitement began within minutes of the re-start when Josh Wilson raced in to meet a Chorley corner only to plant a bullet header just wide.
Elliot Newby’s terrific drive brought a brilliant save out of Gould low down by the post but the keeper could do nothing to stop Newby blasting the Magpies ahead on 59 minutes with a thunderous finish following Wilson’s neat lay-off.
Almost at once, Gould could only watch as a clever flick from Louis Almond flew just past the angle of post and bar.
The Magpies’ lead, however, lasted only six minutes, a lapse of concentration in the home defence allowing Robert Atkinson to drill a free header past Urwin from a corner.
Then on 70 minutes came the penalty emphatically converted by Glen Taylor for his tenth goal of the season.
Chorley piled forward in a determined bid to get back on terms and the Moors’ defence was at full stretch to protect their goal.
An almighty scrimmage in added time in the jaws of the visitors’ goal resulted in an ugly melee and the referee summoned both captains to ensure that reason finally prevailed.
This game could have gone either way and the Magpies’ display was a big improvement on the previous two away matches.
On their early-season form, the one goal lead they established – deserved on the play – would probably have sufficed for a much-needed Chorley victory but at present the side has lost the winning habit and in the ultra-competitive National League North any dip in performance levels can so easily prove costly.
CHORLEY : Urwin, Challoner, Blakeman, Teague, Leather (Carver 78), Meppen-Walter, Glynn, O’Keefe, Wilson, Almond, Newby (E.). Unused subs. Cottrell, Jordan, Whitham, Anson.