Chorley clinch National League North play-off spot

Chorley's Dale Whitham (far right) scored the winner as they secured a spot in the play-offs
Chorley's Dale Whitham (far right) scored the winner as they secured a spot in the play-offs
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Chorley will be competing in the National League North play-offs once again after Matt Jansen's side cemented their place in the top seven with a 2-1 comeback victory at Brackley.

Before kick-off Chorley knew they needed just two points from their final two games to guarantee a play-off place.

Their quest was not easy from the off given third-placed Brackley's fine home record but the task was made even tougher in just the 18th minute when Matt Challoner was ruled to have impeded Adam Walker in the box.

James Armson stepped up to take the penalty and coolly sent on-loan Fleetwood keeper the wrong way to make it 1-0.

But Jansen's men had fought back in their previous two games beating Tamworth 4-3 in the league on Saturday and Clitheroe 3-2 to lift the LFA Challenge Trophy on Monday night.

And they showed that fighting spirit once more with Marcus Carver levelling things up on the counter in the 26th minute.

Adam Blakeman's suspension for a red card at Tamworth does not yet come into force due to the seven day rule and boy were Chorley happy about that as he sliced open Brackley to release Carver, he beat the offside trap and calmly slotted home.

Chorley sensed blood and it was to be Challoner who did the damage to make amends for giving away the spot-kick.

The defender whipped in a tantalising cross that caused chaos in the Brackley box and Dale Whitham pounced to put Chorley ahead in the 50th minute.

Chorley had to defend their lead in the closing stages as Brackley asked questions of skipper Andy Teague and company but with one of the meanest defences in the National League North victory was never in doubt and they soared into the play-offs.

The Magpies will have to wait to find out who they will face in the play-offs but now prepare to host Alfreton on Saturday comfortable in the knowledge that they have a shot at healing last year's Halifax heartbreak in the final and reaching the National League for the first time in nearly three decades.