Stocksbridge 0
Chorley 3
A comfortable victory completed a one-hundred per-cent record for March for the Magpies and strengthened their chances of a play-offs spot on a day when five of the top six also won.

Recent signing Ciaran Kilheeney netted his fifth goal in three games, underlining his significant contribution to Chorley’s thirteen goals since his arrival.

The Magpies were in the driving seat from the fourth minute, when Andy Teague buried a header from a well-flighted Tom Ince corner.

Ince supplied another lovely cross for Kilheeney to make space for himself to head the second on 25 minutes and there was little real threat from a home attack readily contained by an uncompromising Chorley defence.

The Premier Division’s player-of-the-season, Steve Foster, ought to have bagged a third goal just before the interval following superb inter-play between Chris Denham and Kilheeney but he placed his shot disappointingly the wrong side of the post.

Stocksbridge did show more steel in the second half and Declan McGivern unaccountably put a free header wide from six yards but Chorley continued to play enterprising football and Kilheeney was unlucky to see a well-judged lob hit a post.

Steels were thrown a lifeline on 70 minutes when Ince was adjudged by a linesman to have handled on the edge of the box but Richard Stirrup’s hard, low penalty was beaten out by Russ Saunders and Ince reacted first to boot the loose ball to safety.

A wonderfully controlled run past four defenders by substitute John Cunliffe set up Denham for a thunderous shot which home keeper Ben Scott did well to turn over the bar before Kilheeney sealed victory four minutes from time.

A clever through ball from Cunliffe left Kilheeney clear and he coolly steered his shot into the corner of the net.

Monday night’s defeat saw Chorley go down by a narrow margin to their promotion rivals.

The Magpies trip to the Horsfall Stadium ended in defeat at the host side recorded a deserved eighth straight home win.

With two changes made to the starting line-up and a change in formation to recent games, the Magpies looked unsettled and disjointed at times.

Tom Williams and Steve Flitcroft replaced Steve Foster and Matt Walwyn as the Magpies looked to field a team to compete with their physical and confident hosts.

But the West Yorkshire side prevailed thanks to a second half penalty.