Coasters seek Blyth spirit

Croft Park, home of Blyth Spartans
Croft Park, home of Blyth Spartans
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AFC Fylde embark on another FA Cup adventure on Saturday with a visit to a side boasting a famous North East name and tradition.

Few non-league teams can match the FA Cup record of the Coasters’ opponents tomorrow, Blyth Spartans, who have made it to the first round of the FA Cup no fewer than 35 occasions and they got as far as the fifth round in 1977-8 when they went out to Wrexham.

AFC Fylde, relatively fledglings to this level, are out to equal the feat of last season when they got to the first round for the first time, where they lost to Accrington Stanley.

Coasters’ boss Dave Challinor has good FA Cup pedigree as a player with Tranmere, his Rovers’ team getting as far as the quarter-finals.

Challinor said: “It is a great competition – it is the aim of every non-league team to get to the first round and maybe get a league team and a possible televised tie.

“That is a long way off, but if we get a bit of luck along the way and play to the best of our ability, we have a good chance of achieving it.

“It was a great experience to reach the first round last year, and now we want to emulate it.

“It’s the perfect time to play in the FA Cup – we can switch off from the league and concentrate on a one-off match.”

Challinor reports no fresh injury concerns for this first qualifying round tie, but says that he could make changes to ‘freshen up’ his squad.

n In the North West Counties League, Squires Gate are at home to a Silsden side fresh from Wednesday’s 4-1 hammering of AFC Blackpool

Blackpool trailed 3-1 at half-time as a flurry of strikes followed a goalless first 35 minutes.

Will Storrie scored two for the hosts, and although Mitchell Newsham’s goal on the stroke of half-time gave his side hope, Anthony Lynch sealed victory for the Yorkshiremen with 16 minutes left.

Blackpool are away to Winsford.