Home is where the Magpies’ heart is

Andy Russell in action for Chorley
Andy Russell in action for Chorley

CHORLEY will be seeking home comforts when they round off the regular season at Salford City today.

The Magpies have already secured their place in the First Division North play-offs, with Curzon Ashton their opponents on Monday.

But this afternoon’s task is all about gaining home advantage for the semi-final.

If Chorley – currently in third place – better or match Curzon’s result at Wakefield, they’ll host the tie at Victory Park.

Magpies boss Garry Flitcroft told the Evening Post: “We’ve got to make sure we take care of our business at Salford and finish above Curzon.

“We’ve known for some weeks that we’d be in the play-offs, and now it’s all about getting home advantage.

“I’m confident we can achieve that.

“We go to Salford in good heart and decent form, while Curzon will find it difficult at Wakefield.

“If we win today, we know we’re at home for the semi-final.

“We’re obviously keen to play at Victory Park. Our home record is good this season with 14 league wins.

“We’ve also beaten Curzon three times, which would give us the psychological advantage.

“It would be good for our loyal fans to play the semi-final at home.

“They’ve turned up in their numbers all season, and I’m sure we could attract a crowd of between 1,500 and 1,700 on Monday.

“When I joined the club last summer, everyone was telling me that Chorley was a sleeping giant.

“I think we’ve awoken the place this season as the size of the crowds have shown.”

Not surprisingly, Flitcroft is content with the way his first campaign in charge of the Magpies has gone.

And were it not for injuries to some key players, the former Blackburn and Bolton midfielder believes his side would have been in strong contention for automatic promotion – an honour that looks to be heading Chester’s way.

Flitcroft saind: “The players we brought in have gelled very well together, and that is pleasing.

“We’ve done well to get to the play-offs, and I think we could have pushed on further but for injuries.

“In the last few weeks, we’ve had seven or eight key players out injured.

“Wayne Maden has been a massive loss.

“He played the first 10 games or so of the season then picked up a serious groin injury – he had a tear on tendon which needed surgery.

“You miss experienced players like him, he won’t be back fit until next season.”

If Chorley beat Curzon on Monday, the play-off final takes place a week tonight.

The venue for the final is at the highest place club.

Flitcroft added: “Hopefully we’ll be back at Victory Park for two more games this season.”