Magpies warned of challenge ahead

Josh Hine is aiming to guide Chorley into the play-offs this season

Josh Hine is aiming to guide Chorley into the play-offs this season

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Chorley manager Garry Flitcroft has told his players to step up to the plate as they target a play-off place in the Conference North.

As the season enters its second phase, the Magpies find themselves in a decent position in the table.

Although they have fallen well behind league leaders AFC Fylde, Chorley currently occupy the final play-off spot.

They also have the advantage of having a number of games in hand on the teams above and below them in the table. However, the Magpies have a hectic fixture list between now and end of the season as they look to be competitive in both the league and the Lancashire FA Trophy.

Tomorrow, they will look to maintain their fifth place in the table when they travel to face Hednesford Town.

“We are in for a tough second half of the season,” said Flitcroft. “We will be playing a lot of games on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

“I’ve told the lads about it and I’ve said that they need to be up for it. The games are coming fast and furious.

“Hednesford have been going well and it won’t be an easy game but then again there aren’t any easy games in this league,”

Flitcroft felt Chorley’s midweek defeat to FC United in the FA Trophy second round was a big opportunity missed. The Magpies were beaten 1-0 in Tuesday night’s replay at Curzon Ashton’s Tameside Stadium, after the two sides drew 3-3 on Saturday at Victory Park.

“Tuesday was a massive chance for us to advance in the Trophy and get where we want to be,” Flitcroft said.

“We had a great opportunity but it’s gone now. We can’t dwell on things. Yes, it’s massively disappointing and on chances alone in the second half, we shouldn’t have been beaten.”

Meanwhile, Flitcroft will wait on the fitness of Paul Jarvis and Tom Smyth before finalising his line-up for tomorrow’s match.

In the Conference Premier, Southport return to action after a nine-day break when they host Chester.

The Sandgrounders were without a game last weekend, as the FA Trophy second round – a competition they have been eliminated from – took place.

Gary Brabin’s men will be aiming to put more daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.