CHORLEY squelched to their tenth National North home win of the season in increasingly atrocious conditions as an hour’s persistent heavy rain saturated the pitch.

Had the surface been as waterlogged at the start as it was in the closing stages, the game would surely not have been completed.

In the event, the Magpies ended a run of four matches without a win in authoritative fashion, reinforcing a fine home record of just one defeat in 10 games at Victory Park this year.

In the circumstances both teams deserve great credit for serving up an absorbing contest in which Chorley, two up at the break, held the upper hand for all but a spell when Trinity pulled a goal back and for a while threatened a more productive revival.

Darren Stephenson, however, plundered a third Chorley goal to wrap up the win and thereafter the home side might easily have extended the winning margin by two or three goals.

The Magpies went ahead on 10 minutes when Dale Whitham floated an excellent free-kick beyond the defence which Kieran Charnock met with a well-directed header that went in off the far post.

Gainsborough hit back at once and Sam Ashton had to be alert at his near post to keep out Liam Davis’s fierce angled shot.

A scramble by the far post following a corner looked to have brought Chorley a second goal prodded in by Darren Stephenson but after consulting his assistant the referee disallowed the goal.

Then Will Beesley rescued the hosts with a timely block to charge down a dangerous Nathan Jarman effort from inside the box before the Magpies went two up in added time, Micah Evans heading home an inviting Andy Teague centre.

Pools of standing water greeted the teams emerging for the second half but Trinity began to spray the ball about to greater effect and on the hour they cashed in on some sloppy play by Chorley in midfield, an incisive raid through the middle leading to Jarman beating Ashton comprehensively with a cracking shot.

But the visitors were unable to build on the goal and the home side launched a series of penetrating attacks.

Stephenson rose too early to meet a fine Paul Jarvis cross and headed over from close range but it was he who bagged the decisive third goal on 79 minutes. Cutting in from the right just outside the box he let fly with a fierce low drive which skidded past Jan Budtz in the Gainsborough goal.

If the keeper was disappointed to be beaten there, he saved his side from embarrassment in the closing stages with smart saves from Teague, Jordan Connerton and Whitham as his defensive colleagues were increasingly swamped by a now rampant Chorley attack.