The final day of the whole season is now just around the corner, with the Vanarama National League North Promotion Final ready to determine who will earn promotion between Town and Chorley FC.
Saturday’s match is set to be a mouth-watering fixture, as FC Halifax Town seek an instant return to the National League following their dramatic win on penalties against Salford City last time out.
Saturday’s visitors, who finished in the play-offs due to Darlington’s expulsion from the competition, have a mixed reading in terms of their last six games. The win against Kidderminster was their third victory in six games, although the magpies also saw two defeats in a row to the Shaymen and Kidderminster.
However, league form can be put aside when it comes to the play-offs, so Chorley will be feeling confident after impressively seeing off Kidderminster in the semi-finals.
For Town, four wins in their last six makes for impressive reading, with one of those obviously being the tense penalty shootout against Salford to set up a home final.
If the final was to head to extra time, it would be hard to bet against the Shaymen due to the impressive display last Sunday.
FC Halifax Town: LWWWDW
Chorley certainly boast a plethora of talent in their squad, although there will always be one man to keep an eye on from 3pm on Saturday. That man is none other than Marcus Carver. The former Shayman joined Chorley last year, following a successful loan spell.
Carver has certainly impressed in his first season in black and white having made over 20 appearances for the Magpies, posing a clear threat against the Shaymen in the two-side’s last meeting around two weeks ago.
Not only that, it was Carver’s goal in the second semi-final to level the aggregate score against Kidderminster, therefore, in big games, Carver has proven that he can step up to the challenge when called upon.
As we are aware, it has only been two weeks since the two promotion final sides met in the league. The contest at Chorley’s Victory Park was a scrappy one, as the home side did all they could to secure a spot in the play-offs.
The home side instantly set up well in defence, although a much-changed Town could break the deadlock through Tom Denton’s tap in from close range. As the half time whistle blew, it was the Shaymen who had the advantage.
The second half, however, was all Chorley. The Magpies were hungry for the leveller, and constantly kept the pressure on Town’s back line. Adam Blakeman’s 25-yard effort was arguably one of the best of the half, striking the post before Andy Teague missed the rebound.
Finally, though, after substitute Josh Wilde was fouled in the box, Liam King settled the tie from the spot. There were nerves around the ground following the final whistle as Chorley awaited the results elsewhere.
Although it only took a few seconds for Victory Park to go from silence to elation as the Magpies secured their play-off spot.
Assistants:Matthew Law, Andrew Dallison
Fourth Official:Simeon Lucas
Follow the Game
There will be live updates and commentary available FREE on the club website and Shaymen Player HD.
You can also follow the action via Town’s official Twitter account, @FCHTOnline
Read more posts by Kelly Gilchrist