Fylde boss Challinor calls for New Year resolve

Injury doubt Matty Blinkhorn

Injury doubt Matty Blinkhorn

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It’s part two of the big festive showdown on Sunday as the scene switches to Victory Park for the second instalment between Chorley and AFC Fylde.

The Magpies claimed three points and bragging rights – for six days at least – by spoiling Fylde’s sell-out occasion at Mill Farm on Boxing Day.

Explaining the 2-0 loss, Coasters boss Dave Challinor told The Gazette: “We were on the front foot and in control for the first 20 minutes, but then we were guilty of poor decision-making, and without being totally dominated by Chorley they became the team on the front foot. By the second half, we had given ourselves a mountain to climb.

“There are things that we can learn from the defeat against Chorley.”

But Challinor insisted: “It is not a question of us having some kind of unfinished business against Chorley – it is an opportunity to pick up more points to get closer to the target we have set for ourselves for the rest of the season.”

Challinor said he was not taken aback at the way Chorley performed on Monday in front of a club record crowd of 3,858.

He said: “I was not surprised by them at all.

“They worked hard, got men behind the ball, were well organised and knew their job, so we know what they will be all about when they play them again.

“As for Boxing Day, everything went right off the field with a record crowd, but on the field we didn’t do our job and get the result that we wanted, which was disappointing.”

In the grand scheme of things, the loss to the Magpies could go down as a temporary setback – it was the first time Fylde had lost at home this season and they still maintained a healthy six-point lead at the top of the Vanarama National League One standings.

Their closest challengers Kidderminster could only draw 0-0 away to Bromsgrove on Boxing Day, so Fylde’s advantage was cut by just one point to six. Chorley stand in third place, behind the Harriers on goal difference.

One doubtful starter for Fylde on New Year’s Day is former Chorley striker Darren Stephenson, who is on loan from Tranmere Rovers.

He has been nursing an ankle injury that may not heal in time for the short trip across the county.

Challinor will also check on another frontrunner in Matty Blinkhorn, who injured his back in training.

Another injury casualty is James Hardy, who missed the first Chorley match.

Boss Challinor said: “We have a few knocks and if the match was today some of them could be struggling, but with the match not being until Sunday they have more time.”

Challinor’s exhortations from the touchline have not been anything like as full-throated as usual because he has been consistently losing his voice over the past couple of weeks, which prompted him to take medical advice.

He said: “I am hoping that it is just the fact that I have strained by vocal chords, but resting your voice is easier said than done in my job.”

Chorley say that Sunday’s match is not all-ticket but they are strongly advising fans to buy tickets in advance to speed up admission on the day.