Blinkhorn wants to end prolific season on a high

Matt Blinkhorn
Matt Blinkhorn
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Matt Blinkhorn hopes the most prolific season of his senior football career will end with him helping AFC Fylde to win promotion to the Football Conference on Saturday.

And the former Blackpool striker would love some of the Seasiders faithful to see him do it.

The final whistle of the season will blow at Bloomfield at around 2pm on Saturday, following the home clash with Charlton, and an hour later Blinkhorn and his Fylde team-mates will kick-off in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League play-off final against Ashton United at their Kellamergh Park home in Warton.

Blackpool born and bred Blinkhorn told The Gazette: “Blackpool play at 12.15pm, so hopefully a few of their fans will come after the game and support us. Hopefully that will help bump up our crowd on the day. Home advantage can help. We have a great surface and it suits our style.”

If Fylde’s 3-1 home win over Worksop in Tuesday’s semi-final wasn’t a major surprise, the fact that they will be at home again for the decider is.

FC United of Manchester, who finished one place above the Coasters in second, were beaten 2-1 at home in the other semi by fifth-placed Ashton.

It means Fylde avoid travelling as the higher-placed finalists and Blinkhorn added: “I think most of us were half-expecting to go to Bury to face FC United in front of a big crowd.

“But Ashton showed they are a good side with a good win and now we have home advantage. Ashton are a really tough side to play against. They can be horrible at times but they are really effective.”

Now 29, Blinkhorn signed for his hometown club at 16 and made 44 appearances over six seasons with the Tangerines. He signed for Fylde last summer after spells with Morecambe Sligo and York, and ended last season with the Coasters on loan from Hyde.

Blinkhorn scored in last season’s play-off semi-final against Hednesford, which Fylde lost on penalties.

“Last year we suffered heartbreak,” he recalled, “so it was great to put that behind us and get into the final. We want to finish it off now.”

Although Richie Allen hogged the headlines with his hat-trick against Worksop, Blinkhorn’s goals have been crucial in recent weeks – he netted the winner against Kings Lynn last weekend.

He added. “I’ve had a decent season in front of goals. I have twenty now and it’s the first time I’ve reached that mark in my senior career.

“It’s especially pleasing because I had a knock back when I broke my wrist earlier on in the season and that slowed me down a bit. I’d love to score the winner on Saturday but it’s all about getting this club into the Conference North.”