Blackpool moved within a point of the Hallmark Security League play-off zone on an emotional afternoon at the Mechanics Ground.
The first division fixture was also a fundraiser organised by AFC defender and captain for the day Jamie Nay for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where his infant son Arthur is undergoing vital treatment.
The bumper crowd also observed a minute’s silence following the death of longtime supporter Graham ‘Ducky’ Duckworth.
Seeking a third successive win to boost their play-off push, AFC found themselves on the back foot as Cheadle took the lead through Chris Sheringham after only five minutes.
The visitors continued to dominate for much of the first half but Ben Duffield equalised 10 minutes before half-time and AFC were back in the contest.
The hosts improved after the break and it was no surprise when midfielder Zack Hargreaves put them ahead eight minutes in.
Conah Bishop made it 3-1 on 70 minutes, but just when it looked like the points were in the bag Richard Wyatt pulled one back in the 78th minute.
AFC were awarded a free-kick only for Bishop’s retaliation to earn him a red card, but the 10 men restored their two-goal lead when Billy McKenna scored their fourth in the 83rd minute.
The hosts were spared a nailbiting finale when the officials eventually ruled out a Cheadle goal for offside.
This was the first of four games in eight days in AFC’s quest to climb two places and claim the final play-off spot. They are at home to Chadderton on Tuesday (7.45pm) before trips to Daisy Hill (Thursday) and Abbey Hulton (Saturday).
The day was a success too for Nay, raising £650. Jamie said, “A huge thank you to everyone who came and donated – it really means a lot. It was a perfect day – three points and Foxhall Under-6s got to play in front of a large crowd (in the curtain-raiser). Being named captain was fantastic and we raised a lot of money for Alder Hey.
“I would like to thank everyone at AFC Blackpool for donating the proceeds to Alder Hey, to the Tin Army for creating such a first-class atmosphere, to Blackpool Bounce for an excellent service with the bouncy castle, to The Gazette for promoting the game and to Ian Davies for his photography.
“Finally, this was also a fitting day for ‘Ducky’, starting with an impeccably observed minute’s silence and finishing with a huge win, which he would love.”
Blackpool: Kirkland, Nay, Betteridge, Caunce, Cassidy, Baird, Bishop, Hargreaves, Duffield, McKenna, Carson; subs: Gregory, Williams, Taylor, Mottram, Speight.