CHORLEY manager Matt Jansen hailed his side’s achievement as they squeezed into the National League play-offs.
Despite a 2-0 defeat at home to FC Halifax Town, Stockport County’s failure to beat Gloucester City and Darlington been denied a play-off place due to grounding issues, meant that the Magpies will face Kidderminster Harriers in a two legged play-off on Wednesday (at home) and Sunday.
And Jansen feels his squad have merited their chance at promotion.
He said: “The boys deserve to be where they are. They have been fantastic all season and I could not be more proud of the players and indeed of the whole club.
“We have been punching above our weight against a number of clubs with much bigger budgets than ours, so to reach these play-offs is a terrific achievement for everyone at Chorley football club.”
Against a Halifax side who will take on Salford City in the other play-off semi-final, the Magpies’ fortunes fluctuated during a tense afternoon.
At one point they were safely destined for the play-offs, then they were out, as Stockport finally broke through against Gloucester at Edgeley Park but the Tigers hit back to level and held on to throw Chorley their lifeline.
Halifax were gifted a goal at the end of a shapeless first half when keeper Christian Dibble spilled a firmly-struck but routine shot into the path of Tom Denton who could not miss from six yards.
Chorley dominated after the break with Halifax at times defending desperately but always in great numbers.
Adam Blakeman rattled a post and from the rebound Andy Teague’s goal-bound shot was blocked in a packed six-yard box.
Then Halifax keeper Sam Johnson pulled off a fine reaction save to keep out Robbie McDaid’s effort.
Against the run of play, Liam King fired past Dibble from the penalty-spot.