CHORLEY put on a second successive five-star show to beat their close rivals for promotion – with a four-goals’ salvo in a thrilling, all-action first half.
With the teams locked in third and fourth place, boasting identical playing records and exactly the same goal tallies, all the pre-match signs pointed to a tight match.
As it was, Hednesford were simply undone by some clinical finishing.
The goal-feast began in the second minute when Matt Walwyn’s measured through ball enabled Steve Foster to bag his 21st of the season with a precise shot beyond the advancing Dan Crane.
The Magpies went 2-0 up on 36 minutes when Ciaran Kilheeney threaded a pass to Walwyn and he clipped the ball just inside the post.
It was 3-0 four minutes later when, following a succession of corners, Kilheeney rose to glance home a near-post header from the third flag-kick.
But the most spectacular goal of the game arrived seconds before the interval, Chris Denham hitting an unstoppable rising drive into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Hednesford boldly took the game to Chorley after the break and deservedly pulled a goal back in the 56th minute, Chris Clements’ low shot creeping just inside the post with Saunders appearing unsighted.
Russ Saunders denied the visitors a second goal thanks to two successive point-blank saves before a simply-executed fifth put the icing on Chorley’s cake on 89 minutes when a quickly taken free kick allowed substitute John Cunliffe to apply an easy side-footed finish.