Boss Andy Preece left deflated after Chorley suffer late play-off agony at Gloucester

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​Chorley boss Andy Preece could not believe his eyes as he watched his side somehow miss out on finishing inside the play-offs on Saturday in the National League North.

​The Magpies needed to beat Gloucester City to be certain of earning a place in the top seven – and they looked set to achieve their aim when Billy Whitehouse put them 3-1 up with only 19 minutes to go.

Despite conceding in the first half, the Magpies came roaring back and drew level on the stroke of half-time through Marco Alin Rus and Mike Calveley then put them ahead eight minutes after the interval

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However, Gloucester hit back with three goals in the final 16 minutes, including an 88th minute equaliser and a stoppage time winner.

Chorley boss Andy Preece (photo: Stefan Willoughby)Chorley boss Andy Preece (photo: Stefan Willoughby)
Chorley boss Andy Preece (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

Indeed, with just a few minutes remaining during Saturday’s match, Preece’s men were as high as fourth in the table, only to end up finishing 12th.

Gloucester’s remarkable comeback was enough to see them earn a play-off spot and leave Preece almost speechless at the final whistle.

"That’s what it will look like in the history books, finishing 12th, but we know how close we came,” said Preece.

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"We have put so much effort into this season. Off the field, it’s been so tough. It's been one of the toughest seasons I have had off the field.

"But we have fought, we have battled to keep things going. People don’t understand how difficult it has been.

"It’s really hard to take at the minute but there will be a point when we will look back and say that we did lot of really good things this season.

"There are things that we need to improve on, we need to do better.

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"We are where we are, we will move forward and we’ll plan for next season. We have done a lot of good things, a lot of memorable moments but it’s all very raw at this minute to be in this position where we have gone from fourth to 12th in five or six minutes.”