Chorley still confident of having a say in title race

Jamie Vermiglio believes there will still be a few more twists and turns in the National League North promotion race before the end of the season.

By Craig Salmon
Friday, 18th February 2022, 8:25 am
Updated Friday, 18th February 2022, 8:26 am

The Chorley boss saw his team’s 11-game unbeaten run come to an end last Saturday when they were beaten 2-1 at mid-table Leamington.

That result saw them slip 12 points behind top-of-the-table Gateshead and second-placed Brackley Town, with Kiderminster four points further back in third.

It was particularly frustrating for the Magpies especially after their fine run over the last couple of months, which has included wins over the leaders, fourth-placed Fylde and fellow play-off protagonists Curzon Ashton and Hereford.

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Chorley boss Jamie Vermiglio (photo: Stefan Willoughby)

But the defeat was an illustration of the weekly challenges of the division because while Chorley – who are fifth – are still looking up, they have also have to make sure they keep the back door shut in terms of cementing a play-off position.

Vermiglio said: “Although we beat Gateshead, they are probably, along with Kidderminster, the strongest that we have come up against.

“I don’t think Kidderminster should be ruled out of it at the top.

“We are looking up, but obviously we are looking down as well – we want to maintain our position in the play-offs.

“We want to try to move away from the contenders who are trying to get into the play-offs, but the same time, we are glancing up.

“We’ve still got to play Gateshead – we can beat them.

“We’ve still got play Kiddy – our form against the top sides is very good.

“In fact over the last month or so we have played against some of the form sides in the division and come out with positive results.”

This weekend, Chorley host Boston United who are just a win away from moving into the top seven and then after that, their next three games are against teams who are in a mid-table spot.

If the Magpies are to keep in touch with the teams at the top then a sizeable points haul is likely to be required.

He said: “It’s always difficult against those sort of sides because the patterns of play and what evolves in games is often different.

“The weather has been dictating a lot of the play recently and the same happened last Saturday. On a pitch which was difficult we have probably not handled the conditions very well and Leamington did.

“We go into this weekend against Boston who are a very good team and well backed.

“I am sure they will be well up for the challenge.”

On a positive note, loan striker Millenic Alli has returned to Victory Park after initially being recalled by his parent club Stockport County last month.

Elsewhere, Southport are at home to Leamington and Fylde host AFC Telford United at Mill Farm.

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