A SCINTILLATING display against third-placed Matlock put Chorley's own promotion challenge back on course at windswept Victory Park and the disappointing visitors' only consolation was that the winning margin could easily have been doubled.

Making light of the tricky weather conditions, the Magpies were simply superb, repeatedly opening up an overworked Matlock defence with high-tempo approach play, and it was a surprise that the goals were delayed until after half time.

After a promisingly bright start, Matlock failed to contribute a worthwhile shot in the entire first half.

At the other end Ian Barker rounded Kevin Tye but delayed his shot long enough to allow the keeper to recover and turn his effort for a corner and later looped a header inches wide from a precise Lee Wilkinson cross when it seemed easier to hit the net.

But there was to be no reprieve for Matlock in the second period.

David Eatock bagged Chorley's first on 47 minutes, volleying home Lee Molyneux's cross from close range, and five minutes later Eatock raced onto a defence-splitting through-ball to calmly steer it past the advancing Tye.

He should have completed a stunning ten-minute hat-trick when sublime approach work by Darren Emmett left Eatock an open net but Tye scrambled across goal to keep out his sidefooted shot. Tye excelled again in turning over a wickedly curling Emmett free-kick before Matlock finally got an effort on target, Steve Taylor's angled header hitting the outside of the near post.

In the 77th minute Wilkinson snuffed out any faint threat of a Matlock comeback with an instinctive first-time finish on the half-volley from Paul Varley's excellent cross, his tenth goal of the season.

Emmett tested Tye again with a 20-yard piledriver which he turned round the post but the keeper was a helpless spectator in stoppage time when man-of-the-match Eatock raced away down the right before drawing Tye and leaving Emmett to stroke his pass into an empty net for Chorley's fourth.