Magpies will rise to the challenge of leaders

Chorley boss Matt Jansen
Chorley boss Matt Jansen
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Chorley boss Matt Jansen believes his players will rise to the big occasion when they take on runaway National League North leaders Salford City tomorrow.

The Magpies travel to Moor Lane knowing that they face a daunting task against the Ammies, who have opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.

They have collected 16 wins from their opening 20 games of the season and look a great bet to secure promotion.

One slight ray of hope for Chorley is that City’s two defeats this season have both come in front of their own supporters and Jansen is confident his men can cause the leaders problems.

“We seem to turn up for the big games,” said Jansen.

“I have no doubt that we will turn up for the game against Salford and give everything.

“I think we can really cause them problems and I am excited by that.”

Meanwhile, Chorley have allowed Waqas Azam to sign for NPL First Division North side Colne on a permanent basis.

Azam has been with the Magpies for 18 months, after joining the club in the summer of 2016 following a successful trial during 
pre-season.

Jansen said, “I’m sad to see Waqas leave as he is a lad with massive potential.

“Unfortunately for him, Matt Challoner is playing so consistently and 
staying injury free, it’s been difficult to get Waqas in.

“He is still a young lad and will develop into an even better player than he is now, but he will only be able to do that by playing football, which sadly means us letting him move on.

“He goes with all our best wishes for the future.”

Goalkeeper Sam Ashton has made a welcome return to action after suffering a long-term knee injury.

The shot-stopper played for Chorley’s development team in their 3-1 win over Lancaster City reserves. The victory saw them go top of the Lancashire League.

Elsewhere in the National League North, Southport – still searching for their first win under boss Kevin Davies – are at home to Bradford Park Avenue.

Assistant manager John Dreyer – who was on the coaching staff at PNE under Graham Westley and Simon Grayson – has left the club as he was unable to devote enough time.

In the National League, AFC Fylde welcome Ebbsfleet United to Mill Farm.