THE 10 men of Chorley were hit with two late goals as Evo-Stik League Premier Division title rivals FC United clawed them back in a thrilling clash.

The Magpies appeared to have one foot into the Skrill North as they dug ever so deep to lead the Rebels 2-0 with just seven minutes left.

James Dean and Josh Hine scored in each half in front of more than 4,000 fans at Bury’s Gigg Lane – and even the sending off of Darren Stephenson before the break couldn’t silence the 1,000-strong magnificent Magpies following.

But Charlie Raglan and Tom Greaves hit back in a pulsating game in front of a record crowd for the Northern Premier League.

The game got off to a dream start for the Magpies as they pressed from the word go.

Dale Whitham had already gone close when Stephenson was upended in the area and Dean stepped up to silence the home fans with the coolest of penalties.

Chorley hearts were in mouths every time FC United pressed and keeper Sam Ashton had to be alert to save from Callum Byrne and Matthew Wolfenden was wide of the target when he could have done better.

Mike Norton also flashed a shot wide while at the other end Chorley skipper Andrew Teague sent a header just over the United bar as the game flowed thrillingly.

But on half-time Stephensen saw red for dragging Wright to the ground and Chorley assistant boss Matt Jansen was dispatched to the stands for his protests.

As the 10 men were forced onto the defensive, Ashton saved smartly from Liam Brownhill before, out of nothing, Hine struck to make it 2-0.

But Raglan and Greaves were heroes for their men at the end, although Chorley are still in the box seat with Fylde beating Ilkeston last night to move into second place.