AFC Fylde keeper’s FA Cup revenge quest

Ben Hinchliffe

Ben Hinchliffe

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FC Fylde goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe has a score to settle on Saturday, when the Coasters go head-to-head with last season’s title rivals Barrow AFC in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round.

The Coasters have reached the first round proper twice in the last three years, losing the League clubs Accrington and Plymouth.

Hinchliffe may have to settle for a place on the bench, with fellow stopper Matt Urwin preferred in the FA Cup so far, but the 27-year-old would love another crack at a League side, admitting it would be all the sweeter if it was at Barrow’s expense.

The keeper said: “It’s always good to play in a game where there is a bit of rivalry and tension between teams.

“The fact that Barrow beat us to the league title last season and we didn’t end up getting promoted has left a bit of a sour taste for a lot of people here, so it would be good to get one over them.

“I think it is a game we can win. They are a league higher than us now, but we beat them twice in the league last year and I think we are a stronger side than then.”

The former Derby keeper played in Fylde’s only competitive matches against Football League opposition. He recalled: “The Accrington game is one I try to forget as we got hammered (4-1). The Plymouth game (2-0) was a great experience, especially for some of the younger lads.

“We stayed in a nice hotel and the build-up was great. It was also nice to see how much coverage the club got.

“Everybody who gets into the first round draw hopes to get a big club, but at the back of your mind you want a lower-ranked side so there is a better chance of progression.

“If we were to get through, I’d like to play one of my former clubs. Oxford United would be great in the first round, and then Preston or Derby if we can get further.”

And it’s no surprise Hinchliffe sounds confident: He added: “The dressing room was buzzing at Corby on Saturday, as it should be when you go top of the league (with a 2-1 win). We are in the kind of form where I can’t see us getting beat.”