A hard-earned victory against a stubborn but uninventive Matlock greatly improved the Magpies’ promotion prospects.
With draws slowing up their rivals, Chorley jumped into second place thanks to a Steve Foster penalty 11 minutes from time.
But Garry Flitcroft’s men should have sewn up victory before then in a second half which saw Chorley force a dour Matlock firmly on the defensive.
In fact the visitors failed to muster a decent shot on goal throughout and once in arrears did not look capable of saving the game.
In a first half, the Magpies were twice close to opening the score. Tom Ince had a firm 18-yards’ drive cleared off the Matlock line and Andy Russell’s toe-poke from a tight angle crept just outside the far post.
Chorley made much more of the running after the interval and Chris Denham was very unlucky, after rounding keeper Jon Kennedy, to see his tight-angled shot drift just past the far upright.
Russell was then guilty of wasting a golden chance. Teed up by Matt Walwyn’s clever low ball across the goalmouth, Russell skied his shot from a couple of yards incredibly high over the bar.
The Magpies’ persistence, however, finally paid off when Walwyn was barged over in the box and the referee instantly awarded a penalty, Foster stepping up to crash a spectacular spot-kick into the top corner to the delight of home fans in an excellent crowd of 798.