CHORLEY boss Garry Flitcroft believes his table-topping side have dealt a psychological blow to their Evo-Stik League Premier Division title rivals.

The Magpies stretched their lead at the summit to five points on Tuesday night with a hard-fought 2-0 home success over a Frickley Athletic team who came to frustrate.

For long periods of a match played on a difficult Victory Park pitch it seemed as if Chorley were going to have to settle for a point.

But late strikes from James Dean and Dale Whitham ensured the Magpies made it four wins on the spin, leaving them in the driving seat for the sole automatic promotion place to the Conference North.

Flitcroft said: “I said to the lads that we’re going to get games like this, on poor pitches.

“If you want to win this league you’ve got to be able to play and you’ve got to be able to grind results out as well – and we did that.

“Full credit to my lads, they battled through and got a great result.

“Psychologically for the teams below us it’s a killer blow for them. I’ve said to the lads we’ve just got to keep picking up points.

“We’re in the driving seat and we proved that we can battle away with anyone in this league. Frickley have got battlers to be fair but we matched them for that and our quality shone through at the end of the game to score the goals.”