Pitch battle for AFC Fylde tomorrow

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor     Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor Picture: Steve McLellan
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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor is taking little for granted as his side inch ever closer to the avowed objective of laying claim to the Vanarama National League North title.

They go into tomorrow’s visit to Stalybridge Celtic nine points clear of the chasing pack, taking on a side scrapping for their lives and on a Bower Fold pitch that is showing clear signs of wear and tear and one that is also used by Oldham RL club.

Stalybridge have a task of Herculean proportions to get out of trouble as they are 10 points away from safety.

But they did show fighting spirit on Tuesday to beat Alfreton 2-0 and give themselves a sliver of hope with two matches in hand on their rivals.

Challinor was in attendance to see the Stalybridge win and he said: “They didn’t look like a team struggling at the bottom of the league.

“It will be a tough place to go on Saturday because the pitch is not the best - they play rugby on it. It is not in a good condition and it will mean that we have to adapt to it.

“We have to back up Saturday’s win over Darlington. not just with another performance like that, but it’s all about winning a game that takes us closer to our goal.

“We have tried to be like Solihull Moors were last year when they won the title.

“Every time they lost a match, people were thinking that they might slip up again in their next match, but they seemed to have the ability to bounce back every time and that is what we have tried to do.”

Tomorrow’s match will be the start of a five-match sequence that will decide the Coasters’ destiny.

After Stalybridge, Fylde travel to FC Halifax Town (April 14); that is followed by a home fixture against Bradford Park Avenue (April 17), a visit to Boston (April 22) and the season concludes with a home match against Worcester City (April 29).