Worksop Town’s considerable attacking threat was snuffed out by a dominant Chorley side, who stretched their lead over Tigers to eight points.
The 1-0 defeat saw Tigers drop to fourth in the Evo-Stik Premier table, failing to score for only the second time this season.
Such a scoreline suggests a tight game, but in truth Chorley should have been out of sight – hitting the woodwork three times and bringing some top saves from Jon Stewart.
While Sam Ashton in the Chorley net didn’t have a save of note to make all afternoon.
Jake Scott and Conor Higginson came back into the Worksop midfield, and there was plenty of possession early on for Tigers, although they made little of the pressure.
Chorley’s first attack yielded a corner, and Dale Whitham put the ball onto the bar straight from the kick.
When Tigers’ first corner was delivered, Chris Salt almost turned it home.
Another corner, from the left, made it all the way to Tom Denton and his goalbound flick was knocked over his own bar by Mark Ross.
The ball was delivered in again and Salt thumped a header against the bar.
The home side went in front from their own set piece however, a free-kick conceded by Shane Clarke was delivered into the box, Andy Teague knocked it down and Keil O’Brien netted at the second attempt.
Only a vital intervention by Salt prevented the Magpies’ second, the centre-half flicking out a boot to deflect Chris Almond’s shot against Stewart’s hand.
Mettam got his first sight of goal from the edge of the box, his snapshot searing off course.
The woodwork came to Worksop’s rescue James Dean flashed a header off the underside of the bar.
The big Chorley striker forged another good chance 16 yards out, curling the ball over the top.
The pace of Alex Pursehouse took him from the edge of his own box to Chorley’s, but his shot was over.
Tigers could have gone in at the break level, Higginson finding Denton with a deep cross, the big striker nodding it down for Mettam and he hooked it just over the bar.
Mark Shaw’s men started the second half on top, Mettam getting another shooting chance but not connecting.
Muldoon looked to scamper away on a promising break, until Jamie Vermiglio tackled him to the ground to earn the game’s first yellow.
Muldoon, limping, soon departed and Jamie Jackson took his place.
Stewart pulled out a fine save to deny Dean who was clean through after a fortunate deflection put the ball in his path.
Roe then sparked an angry reaction from the home side with his late flying tackle on Vermiglio, getting a caution for his trouble.
A scrappy period of the game saw little quality from either side, until a lovely ball clipped in to the feet of Dean allowed him to turn and shoot, beating Stewart but also the far post - Chorley so close to a second.
They came even closer with five minutes left in the game, the ball dropping kindly for Darren Stephenson who just had to hit the target to kill the game, but smacked the crossbar with Stewart beaten.
As the game entered the final minute sub Evan Garnett had a chance to be a hero, but after streaking down the left and cutting inside he drilled the ball wide - Mettam screaming for the ball in the middle.
Despite a corner in injury time, with Stewart rushing upfield to join the attack, Chorley held firm for their first win in five outings.
For Worksop, it was the first defeat in six, and a big blow to their title hopes.
Chorley: Sam Ashton, Mark Ross, Paul Jarvis, Andy Teague, Keil O’Brien, Paul Woolcott (JAke Cottrell 83), Jack Dorney, Jamie Vermiglio (Adam Roscoe 73), James Dean, Dale Whitham, Chris Almond (Darren Stephenson 65). Not used: Brandon Zibaka, Simon Wiles.
Worksop: STEWART 8, Pursehouse 7, Roe 6, Scott 5, Quinn 5, Salt 6, Muldoon 5 (Jackson 57), Clarke 5, Denton 6 (Burrell 76), Mettam 5, Higginson 5 (Garnett 69). Not used: Burgin, Goodfellow.
Referee: G. Hilton. Assistants: S. Eves, D. Issawi.
Yellows: Vermiglio 52.