CHORLEY celebrated their long-awaited return to the Northern Premier League Premier Division with a well-deserved win over a North Ferriby side which featured in last season’s top-flight play-offs.
The Magpies were good value for a two-goal lead obtained either side of the interval but following three substitutions they lost their grip in the final 15 minutes and a goal for the hosts from a late penalty led to a nervy finish.
After a cautious start by both teams, Chorley gradually gained the ascendancy with Andy Teague heading over from a Tom Ince centre.
Ferriby’s leading scorer Gary Bradshaw fired wide from 10 yards with the home side’s only real chance of the half before the Magpies went ahead on 44 minutes.
Steve Foster chased down a ball to the by-line and floated in a cross for strike-partner Chris Denham to score a fine debut goal with a neatly-placed header.
Three minutes after the break, man-of-the-match Jamie Vermiglio surged into the home box only to be tripped as he closed in for a shot and Foster coolly tucked away the resultant spot-kick.
The Humbersiders were rarely able to breach a tight Chorley defence but the Magpies’ were not as dominant after the withdrawal of Vermiglio and Nathan Peat caused a scare among visiting fans when he struck a post for the determined home side.
But despite a brave rally, and a couple of decent saves by Russ Saunders, the home side were restricted to a late consolation from a penalty conceded by Tom Walker just inside the box, Paul Harsley netting from the spot.
And Garry Flitcroft could celebrate the perfect start.