The Magpies progressed to the first round proper of the FA Trophy following 180 minutes of football against Stalybridge with a performance in the replay that was far more convincing then the score line suggests.
After the shared four goals on Saturday, there were only three tonight on a pitch the by the end of the game was beginning to freeze over, with the sound of studs on a solid surface being herd for the first time this season.
Right from the kick-off Chorley pressed forward, up the Bower Fold hill, with Adam Mather swinging in several early crosses and corners, but it was the visitors who forced the first save with Sam Ashton, recalled for his first appearance since mid-October after Aaron Grundy was taken ill prior to kick-off, easily gathering a Paul Ennis effort.
Celtic’s hopes where when talisman striker Liam Dickinson was substituted after less than quarter of an hour through injury; Kevin Holsgrove replacing him up front; from here Chorley took full control of proceedings and should have won at a canter their performance deserved.
Jack Lynch, impressive again in the midfield three, hit the opening goal when he took advantage of some poor defending to curl a shot in the top corner from 15 yards out, giving Lewis King in the home goal no chance.
James Dean, another player recalled to the starting eleven, almost give Darren Stephenson a chance on a plate, but Stefan Galinski nicked the big man’s nod down away and cleared the ball to safety.
Celtic then had a gilt edge chance to level the score when Holsgrove found himself through one-on-one with keeper Ashton - to the displeasure of the entire defence who were convinced he was offside - but his attempted lob of the Chorley stopped ended closer to the corner flag than the back of the net!
King save well form a Stephenson effort, tipping the shot over the bar and from the resulting Mather corner Whitham headed agonisingly inches wide of the upright.
After the break and headed down the slope, Chorley continued to impress, but not quite at the same level as the first period.
Hine drilled an effort across the goal which Dean just couldn’t connect with.
At the other end in a rare attack Holsgrove again should have done better; he dragged a shot wide after beating several defenders en route to goal.
Mather, not content with dead balls and cross, had a shot himself, but had to settle for a corner after a deflection kept his attempt out. King save well from Whitham and Stephenson was unlucky to see a shot curled just beyond the far post from an acute angle.
With a slender advantage despite dominating and the clock ticking ever closer to the final whistle it could have been squeaky bum time was it not for Dean converting a Paul Jarvis cross from close range with less than ten minutes to go.
Astley Mulholland force a save from King in the 90th minute, just second before the big red four was displayed for time added on, of which every minute was played and in the end a Holsgrove deflected effort wrong footed Ashton and nestling into the back of the goal for a late Celtic consolation; not something Sam would have enjoyed as he received treatment for cramp after being a spectator for the majority of the freezing night on Tameside.
Starting XI: Sam Ashton, Kyle Jacobs, Adam Mather, Mark Ross, Andy Teague, Jake Cottrell, Josh Hine, Dale Whitham, James Dean, Jack Lynch, Darren Stephenson
Subs: Paul Jarvis (Jabobs, 71), Chris Simm, Jack Dorney (Lynch, 78), Astley Mulholland (Hine, 84), Matt Jansen
Goals: JACK LYNCH (23), JAMES DEAN (82), Kevin Holsgrove (90+4)
Att: Awaiting confirmation from Stalybridge (fingers too cold to count the coins!)
Chorleyfc.com Man of the Match: Jack Lynch; do we already have the new Jamie Vermiglio on our books!!!