Magpies aiming to maintain play-off cushion

Matt Jansen
Matt Jansen

Chorley head to Harrogate Town this weekend aiming to keep intact their four-point cushion in the National League North play-offs.

The Magpies are currently fourth in the table – a whopping 11 points behind leaders AFC Fylde, but level on points with Salford City and Kidderminster Harriers, who are second and third respectively.

While the Coasters look destined to claim the title and the one automatic promotion spot, Chorley boss Matt Jansen is more concerned with keeping the play-off chasing pack at bay.

Stockport County are the team in sixth place on 58 points, while Darlington – a place and a point further back – will also harbour ambitions of forcing their way into the end-of-season lottery.

Jansen said: “We have got nine games to go and we’re still four points clear inside the play-offs.

“Hopefully we will keep grinding out the results and it will get closer and closer to the wire and we will be safe from dropping out of the play-offs.”

Harrogate are currently in a mid-table spot, but have the advantage of their home pitch which is a 3G surface. Chorley can draw confidence from the last time they played on an 
artificial pitch. That was against Tamworth in 
September and they came away with a 1-0 win.

“We were the first team to beat Tamworth on their pitch and hopefully we can go to Harrogate and get a similar result.”

Meanwhile, Fylde face a defining few days in their fight to win the title, with back-to-back games against promotion rivals.

Tomorrow they are at home to Kidderminster, 
followed by a fixture at Mill Farm on Tuesday against a Stockport.

It is not exactly make-or-break when Kidderminster visit tomorrow, but with 
Fylde already 11 points clear of the Harriers, it would be a massive boost to the 
Coasters, while having the 
polar-opposite effect on Kiddie.

Fylde manager Dave 
Challinor said: “Though nothing will be decided one way or another, it is an important game for both teams.

“Kidderminster need to beat us to close the gap.

“But if we can win and follow it up against Stockport then we will be a lot closer to where we want to be by the end of the season.”

Meanwhile, Challinor has concluded a deal to sign Josh Kay on loan from Barnsley for the rest of the season.

Kay, who has played one Championship match for Barnsley, is regarded as a valuable acquisition.

Challinor said: “It is a good fit. Josh has played for us – he knows us and we know him.”

In the National League, rock-bottom Southport face Braintree. The 
Sandgrounders look doomed this season, nine points from safety with 10 games to go.