HARRIERS suffered play-off heartbreak at Aggborough as they were beaten 2-0 by Chorley, an aggregate defeat of 2-1 enough to dump the reds out of the play-offs.
The visitors wiped out Harriers’ first-leg advantage with a goal from Marcus Carver inside 20 minutes, striking the bar with a free-kick just after as they threatened to storm into a lead.
Harriers were far brighter at the break and hit the woodwork and had an effort hooked off the line, but in the end their play-off dreams were smashed by a late, late goal from the Magpies as sub Roscoe slotted home in front of his own supporters.
Under some fantastic sunshine and in front of a great crowd, it look a little while for the two teams to settle into any stride whatsoever.
Tyrell Waite had the first sight of goal of any note when he nipped through on goal and swiped a shot just past the far post.
Chorley broke the deadlock in typically direct fashion, and the quick-thinking Carver was the man of the moment for the visiting fans as he narrowly beat Hornby a ball forward, getting his toe to a shot that trickled into the net.
Those away fans were almost in raptures when, two minutes later, Adam Blakeman crashed a free kick off the underside of the bar before Harriers could clear.
With Harriers stifled well by the visitors, the Magpies were able to pick the odd spot on the counter attack and had further half chances either side of the half-hour mark as Carver lofted one effort just over the bar, while skipper Teague did similar.
Three after the interval Harriers had the ball in the net as Brown followed up smartly on Gnahoua’s shot to beat Branagan, only for the attempt to be ruled out for offside.
As we edged closer to the hour, Harriers had what was probably their best spell on the ball to that point and with it came a good chance; the industrious Brown breaking into the area on the angle, driving over the bar with Branagan grasping at it.
Just after, Waite’s fine header from McQuilkin’s free-kick also went close, but then it was McQuilkin causing trouble on 71 minutes when, with space opening up in front of him, he let fly from distance and crashed an effort on to the ball with the aid of a Branagan fingertip. Croasdale then had an effort off the line from the corner that followed.
With a tense, tense end to the initial 90 minutes, despite the award of eight minutes’ added time there looked to be an inevitability of extra time before Chorley stole ahead with a rare second half chance; again a ball forward catching Harriers unawares, sub Roscoe on hand to rifle it past Hornby.