Ilkeston 2 Chorley 3

With the pace hotting up in the Evo-Stik Premier Division title-race, these were three precious points for Chorley who stay neck-and-neck with FC United at the top of the table.

Both teams now have 80 points and identical playing records but the Manchester club lead by virtue of a single goal advantage.

The Magpies controlled much of the match against a young Robins’ side and fired most of the shots to record a fairly straightforward victory.

They gained quick reward for a bright start when on four minutes Max Cartwright’s inswinging corner sneaked in at the near post.

The lively Josh Hine clipped the Ilkeston bar with a snap-shot before teeing up James Dean in the 25th minute for Chorley’s second goal.

The big striker burst into the penalty area only to be brought down and he scored easily from the spot.

But Ilkeston were back in the match seven minutes later, Joe Maguire collecting a forward header from a corner to score with a cleverly-controlled shot on the turn from eight yards.

The Robins’ best spell followed but they were unable to seriously test Sam Ashton in the visitors’ goal.

Chorley again made the running after the interval and Dale Whitham should have done better than shoot wide after leaving himself with only keeper Ross Etheridge to beat.

In a rare moment of danger at the other end, Ashton showed fine anticipation in racing out to just beat Gary Ricketts to a through-ball before the Magpies restored their two-goal lead after 67 minutes.

Jack Dorney’s 25-yards’ drive took a big deflection off defender James Reid to completely wrongfoot Etheridge and clip the post on its way into the net.

Chorley comfortable saw out the rest of the match but there was drama in added time.

Dorney already cautioned was sent off for a needless rash challenge and from the ensuing free-kick Mike Williams reduced the arrears with a casual finish at close range.

It was a poor goal for the Magpies to concede in such a tense title race where goal-difference could ultimately be the deciding factor.