Exclusive Matt Jansen column

Congratulating the players after the stunning win at Tamworth on Saturday (photo: Josh Vosper)
Congratulating the players after the stunning win at Tamworth on Saturday (photo: Josh Vosper)

Chorley boss writes for the Lancashire Post

We have just two league matches remaining of the 2017/18 season, and we have put ourselves in a fantastic position to finish within the play-off places.

Mathematically, we need just two more points from our matches against Brackley Town on Wednesday night, or at home to Alfreton Town on Saturday afternoon.

If we do that we will have secured our place in the lottery of the play-offs for another season.

Before that we also have a Lancashire FA Trophy final at the Macron Stadium against Clitheroe tonight – but more of that later.

Given our budget and the fact we are a semi-pro side, who are competing against many full-time outfits, every single one of the players should be hugely proud of themselves for what they have achieved this season.

The past week has been hectic and the games have come thick and fast.

We played Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, due to postponements from previous weeks and we managed to pick up four points from a possible nine.

Starting with the 1-1 home draw with Stockport County on Tuesday night, I think a draw was a fair result.

We were both the in-form sides of the National League North – Stockport had won seven of their last eight coming into the game and we’d won our last three on the bounce, so it was always going to be a fiery encounter.

It would’ve been nice to have held onto the lead, after Scott Leather scored a fantastic goal in the first half, but as I say a draw was a fair result and given what was at stake in the match, I don’t have much to grumble about.

We then travelled to Leamington on Thursday night and lost the game 2-0, which for me was disappointing. I don’t want to make excuses for the lads, we started the match really slowly.

I was always told as a player, you can start really well in a game and as the match goes on you can come down, but if you start at the bottom it’s so difficult to work your way back up and raise your performance levels.

We improved as a unit in the second half, when the scores were still 0-0, but Leamington’s first penalty was a real kick in the teeth.

We were then pushing men forward to try and get the equaliser, and they managed to get another penalty late on, which was questionable to say the least.

It was a really disappointing performance, particularly in the first half, and it was important we rolled our sleeves up for the next match, which I’m delighted to say we did.

Saturday’s 4-3 victory at Tamworth was outstanding, and showed what tremendous character we have in the squad, to come back from 3-1 down, away from home, and win 4-3 with 30 minutes to go.

To a man, everyone was sensational and even when we were 3-1 down I said to my assistant, Jamie Vermigilio, I felt we could still go on and win, and incredibly we did.

It was a fantastic performance and to come up with something like that, given the tiring run of fixtures we’ve had in recent weeks, I was so proud of the boys.

Now it’s left us right in the hunt for the play-offs with two matches to go.

Before those two matches against Brackley and Alfreton this week, however, we face Clitheroe in the Lancashire FA Trophy final at the Macron Stadium this evening.

This is a great opportunity to give some of the lads who haven’t had much game-time in recent weeks to play on a big stage and impress.

Hopefully we’ll come out with some silverware at the end of the night.

This week is massive for the football club, and I’m confident we can reach the play-offs and then who knows what can happen?

Matt Jansen was speaking to Harry Lyons