IT was honours even at the end of the festive-season double-header between two promotion-chasers Chorley and AFC Fylde as the Coasters struck back at Victory Park yesterday.

The title favourites showed more character than in the first meeting on Boxing Day and were in the end deserving of this victory, if not perhaps meriting the full scoreline.

In front of another superb crowd of 3,128, the visitors determinedly came from behind to inflict only the Magpies' third defeat in 23 three games.

The first half was a cautious affair with few real high spots or scoring chances.

Fylde made the brighter start and Chorley keeper Shaun Rowley did well to get down and save a fierce angled shot from Dan Bradley at his near post.

At the other end, only a wonderful save by Rhys Taylor denied Kieran Charnock – the goalkeeper at full stretch to tip his solid header over the bar.

The game exploded into life within a minute of the restart when a glorious goal put Matt Jansen's side in front.

Adam Blakeman seized on a loose ball just beyond the left edge of the penalty area and hit a screamer of a shot which flew into the far top corner past a motionless Taylor.

But Chorley only held the lead for only five minutes. Trickery by Danny Rowe near the by-line won Fylde a corner from which centre-back Dom Collins headed the visitors level.

Chorley had the chance to regain the lead within minutes but after intelligently fastening onto a free-kick lofted beyond the defence, an off-balance Charnock could only shoot into the side-netting. Instead, Fylde grabbed the lead in the 64th minute when Rowe broke away down the right and slipped James Wilson through, his cross being headed in unchallenged by Bradley.

An aerial clash of heads brought the game to a halt, with Magpies’ striker Marcus Carver lying prone on the pitch where he was treated for 12 minutes during which the referee took the players off the field.

Carver was finally stretchered off to await the arrival of an ambulance and when the match was resumed after a 16-minute delay, Chorley began the uphill task of chasing a point.

Despite pressure, they could not break down a resolute Fylde defence and were undone again by Rowe in the 18th minute of added time.

The hotshot striker neatly set up another right-wing cross from Bradley which ex-Magpie Andy Bond tapped in from short range.