CHORLEY FC kept alive their dreams of promotion on another roller-coaster day of emotions for the Magpies on Saturday.
The Victory Park outfit may have lost 2-0 to fellow play-off side FC Halifax Town but results went their way as Stockport County drew with Gloucester City.
Speaking after the final whistle, manager Matt Jansen praised his squad.
He said: “I am delighted. There was mixed emotions throughout the game with Stockport going in front and then we went behind and then we were waiting to see if Gloucester helped us out and Stockport had drawn and we were finally in the play-offs.
“It is not just about today, it is about the season and the boys have been fantastic and deserve where they are.
“We got 74 points and made the play-offs and we got into the play-offs two years ago with 71 points when we were in fourth place. But there were overwhelming emotions.
“We have punched above our weight as we have not got the money that other teams have and we are delighted to be in the position we are.”
Jansen insists he would not criticise his players despite the defeat.
He said: “They scored against the run of play and we were the strongest team in the first and second half.
“We pushed forward in second to get back in the game and then you are vulnerable to concede another goal but on the balance of play we were the better team.
“It has not worked out for us and it is not about today but the 40 weeks we have been playing and I will have no criticism of any players.
“They wore their heart on the sleeve and it just didn’t go for us.
“We had better and more chances than they did but sometimes football is not judged on balance of play. The workrate and ethic they have had all season have got us there.”
Jansen has had many highs during his career at Blackburn Rovers but he insisted getting into the play-offs is up there in terms of achievements.
He said: “We were a little bit nervous a little bit tense and when we heard the final whistle blew and it was like I had scored a cup final goal again.
“I am proud of the lads and the whole club as everyone has put hard work to get to where we are.
“It is fantastic for Chorley Football Club and very much deserved.”
The Magpies take on Kidderminster Harriers in the play-off semi-finals with the first leg at Victory Park tonight (Wednesday) at 7.45pm and then travel to the Aggborough Stadium on Sunday.
Jansen praised the fans for their efforts this season.
“The fans were brilliant and they came to support the lads and especially in the last few games we would not have got there.”