Kidderminster Harriers 0 Chorley 2 (Chorley win 2-1 on agg)
Kidderminster Harriers’ hopes of promotion were shattered when they slumped to a 2-0 defeat in a rough and tumble National League North play-off semi-final second leg against Chorley at Aggborough
The Magpies won 2-1 on aggregate to end heartbroken Harriers bid to return to non-league’s top flight after suffering relegation last season.
Chorley, beaten by an Arthur Gnahoua wonder goal in the first leg at Victoria Park, wiped out the deficit thanks to a first half goal from Marcus Carver and a dramatic stoppage time strike by Adam Roscoe.
Disappointed Aggborough skipper Keith Lowe said: “It’s a very quiet dressing room at the minute. You can’t quite find the words what to say to the lads to get their heads up. It’s been a long, hard season and for it to come to an end like that is hard to take. To not score at home is very unlike us.”
Kidderminster, who drew 0-0 at home to Chorley in a league match earlier in the season, had to be on guard in the opening minutes with home goalkeeper Sam Hornby reacting quickly to save at the feet of on-rushing Jason Walker.
Watched by their first 3,000-plus crowd of the season, Harriers responded with an attack which led to a shot from Tyrell Waite going narrowly wide as both sides battled hard to gain territorial supremacy.
John Eustace’s league runners-up were caught out in the 18th minute when Chorley grabbed the lead when Carver took full advantage of defensive hesitancy to prod the past Hornby and into the net.
It was a major boost for the Magpies who followed up three minutes later with a fierce free kick from Adam Blakeman which smashed against the underside of the bar before being cleared.
The rest of the first half was played at a lively pace with the referee having to deal with a number of meaty challenges.
The second period got off to a dramatic start with Kidderminster getting the ball into the net after only a couple of minutes, but Andre Brown’s effort was ruled offside.
It heralded the start of a more threatening spell by Harriers who went close within the space of three minutes. Firstly, Brown fired just over and then Waite headed narrowly wide following a free kick from James McQuilkin.
Midfieder McQuilkin then saw his 69th minute pile-driver pushed onto the bar by keeper Ritchie Branagan before Ryan Croasdale had a shot cleared off the line by Matt Challoner.
Chorley soaked up the pressure and then sealed victory with a smartly taken goal by substitute Roscoe four minutes into eight minutes of stoppage time.
Kidderminster: Hornby; Hodgkiss, Knights, 90), Lowe, Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol; McQuilkin, Croasdale, Gnahoua; Waite (Sonupe, 78), Ironside, Brown. Subs not used: Carter, Williams, Truslove.
Chorley: Branagan; Challoner, Teague, Leather, Jordan (Roscoe, 76), Blakeman; O’Keefe (Jarvis, 60), Whitham, Cottrell; Carver (Charnock 84), Walker. Subs not used: Dibble, Azam.
Referee: Joe Hull (Stockport).
Attendance: 3,407 (342 away fans).