A gritty performance by a fully committed Chorley side halted Marine's charge to the top of the Evo-Stik Premier Division.

In a hot contest at rain-soaked Victory Park the Magpies had the edge and deservedly ended a wretched run of nines games without a win thanks to a magnificent 20 yard strike from Darren Stephenson that flew in inside the post on 59 minutes.

Chorley defended resolutely to a man to hang on to the lead and held out to the delight of their fans in a crowd 582.

In the Evo-Stik First Division North, a second-half hat-trick from the prolific Lee Gaskell ensured Ramsbottom United deservedly beat near neighbours Clitheroe in a pulsating festive encounter at Shawbridge.

Simon Nangle had given Paul Moore’s Clitheroe the lead in the opening period completely against the run of play before Gaskell took centre stage to fire the visitors to victory.

The Rams struck the woodwork three times in the first half but the Blues led thanks to Nangle’s 34th minute strike.

The visitors equalised on 52 minutes as Gaskell rifled a clever pass from Robinson into the roof of the net.

Clitheroe fell behind in the 76th minute as Spencer crossed for Gaskell to head home from underneath the crossbar.

As the home side pressed for an equaliser, Spencer and substitute Kristian Evans combined to set-up up Gaskell for his 18th league goal of the season with four minutes remaining.

In the NWCL Premier Division, Padiham won their derby clash with Barnoldswick, running out 3-0 winners at the Arbories.

Neil Stansfield gave the Storks the perfect start with the opening goal after seven minutes.

Joe Garvin doubled the lead in the 17th minute and Steve Wilkes’ side wrapped up victory thanks to a Sam Morris goal just past the hour mark.

Colne’s game at Silsden and Bacup’s clash at St Helen’s Town were both postponed due to waterlogged pitches.

In the First Division, Nelson enjoyed a 3-0 victory against Holker Old Boys.

Ashley Higgins fired Nelson ahead in the 37th minute and added a second in the 67th minute before Tom Anderton added a fourth. AFC Darwen’s home match against Rochdale was off.