Flit looks to dent play-off rivals’ bid

Chorley can move back into the play-off zone with victory tomorrow
Chorley can move back into the play-off zone with victory tomorrow
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It is fifth against sixth in the Conference North tomorrow, as Chorley go head to head with one of their play-off rivals.

Guiseley are the visitors to Victory Park this weekend – and the Magpies know that victory will see them leapfrog over the Yorkshiremen into the play-off positions.

Just one point separates the two teams in the table with Garry Flitcroft’s men one position below Guiseley. But they hold the advantage of a game in hand.

In fact, both teams will fancy their chances of finishing inside the top five at the end of the season.

They are only a handful of points behind Tamworth and Hednesford – in third and fourth position respectively – with several games in hand.

But the fact that Chorley have played the fewest games in the division – bar Bradford Park Avenue – will be a cause for concern for Flitcroft.

The Magpies have only managed to fit in three league games since Boxing Day and Wednesday night’s scheduled fixture away at Leamington fell by the wayside due to a frozen pitch.

However, when Chorley do manage to beat the weather, confidence should be high within the camp after last weekend’s stunning 3-1 victory away to AFC Fylde.

Two goals from new signing Aaron Burns and one from Josh Hine knocked the Coasters off top spot and reignited Chorley’s title ambitions. Flitcroft said: “We’ve got a great platform now to go on with our games in hand.

“The squad is strong and they know we want to get promotion this year.”

Fylde meanwhile will be hoping to bounce back from their first league defeat since losing to Boston United 3-1 on November 1.

Since then, Dave Challinor’s men have collected eight wins and three draws, up until being toppled by Chorley on Saturday. The defeat saw them overtaken at the top of the table by Barrow, although their destiny is still in their own hands as they enjoy the luxury of two games in hand on the new leaders.

Fylde striker Richie Allen, who scored Fylde’s solitary goal on Saturday, said: “Barrow might be top of the league, but we’ve got two games in hand.

“The league is still in our hands. We’ve still got to go and mess it up for ourselves, which I don’t think we will.

“We were not going to go through the rest of the season unbeaten.”

Southport prepare for a crucial relegation clash tomorrow when they travel to face Alfreton Town in the Conference Premier.

The Sandgrounders are just one place outside the dropzone – four points clear of their opponents this weekend, who have also played a game more.

Three points for Paul Carden’s men will put clear daylight between themselves and the bottom four, but a victory for the home side will see Southport get dragged into a dogfight.

Carden has yet to register a win as Port manager since taking over from Gary Brabin last month. He was heavily beaten in his first game at league leaders Barnet and watched his men suffer a narrow 1-0 loss to Gateshead at home last Saturday. He has been busy in the window, signing former Blackpool striker Louis Almond from Hyde and Tranmere forward George Donnelly on loan until the end of the season.