Magpies just one win from glory

Darren Stephenson is banned
Darren Stephenson is banned
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Victory away at Buxton tomorrow will see Chorley crowned champions of the NPL Premier Division.

As the season enters its final weekend, the Magpies know nobody can deny them promotion to the Conference North if they return from their trip to Derbyshire with all three points.

However, should they fail to pick up the crucial win, then FC United of Manchester can pip them to the title if they emerge victorious from their trip to Barwell.

Garry Flitcroft and his men thought they had clinched the title on Easter Monday.

After crushing Marine 4-0 at Victory Park, news filtered through that United were being held at home by play-off contenders Ashton United.

However, Greg Daniels popped up with the winner for United in stoppage time to help them to a 3-2 success and take the season to a dramatic climax.

Flitcroft admits his men were getting ready to pop the champagne corks in the dressing room on Monday, but had to put the bottles back on ice when they heard the news of Daniels’ late intervention.

However, Flitcroft is confident his men can finish the job off tomorrow.

“We thought we had won it on Easter Monday,” Flitcroft conceded.

“But in fairness to FC United, they came back again and all credit to them.

“They had the power and the will to take it into the final weekend.

“I always thought it was going to go down to the wire.

“It would have been nice to have won it on Monday, but it wasn’t to be so we’ve got to win it tomorrow.”

In a twist of fate, both Chorley and FC United face away trips against mid-table teams with virtually identical records. Buxton are in 13th spot with 62 points – the same number as Barwell, who are just one place below.

“Buxton and Barwell away are two of the toughest away games you could have,” Flitcroft said.

“It’s going to be very difficult for FC United to go down to Barwell.

“There’s a lot of pressure on them because they have got to win tomorrow to have any chance of going above us.

“I know the lads at Barwell and the way they play, they’re a very tough team at home.

“Buxton is going to be a tough game for us, but it’s in our hands – we have control of the situation.

“We know a win will see us win the title”

Chorley’s title hopes will also be boosted by a huge away following. More than 700 supporters are expected to cheer the Magpies on at the Silverlands.

Flitcroft said: “Buxton usually get about 250, but I think there’s going to be more than 700 Chorley fans going.

“It’s going to be like a home game for us.”

Inevitably there are going to be a few nerves among the supporters as the team aims to cross the finish line, but Flitcroft has detected a focused and determined mood among his players.

“There’s no nerves –we are just treating it like every other single game we have had this season,” he said.

“The lads know what they have got to do.”

Flitcroft will have a full-strength squad at his disposal tomorrow apart from striker Darren Stephenson, who is suspended.