Fylde manager’s number one dilemma

Ben Hinchliffe
Ben Hinchliffe
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Goalkeeper Matt Urwin could be recalled by AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor for tomorrow’s home game with Bradford Park Avenue after Ben Hinchliffe conceded the last-gasp penalty which cost the Coasters the win against Nuneaton last weekend.

Goals from Richie Baker and Josh Langley looked to have sealed victory against Fylde’s fellow promotion hopefuls Nuneaton but Hinchliffe brought down Elliott Whitehouse in stoppage time, and the forward got up and converted the penalty to ensure a share of the spoils.

On the selection headache, the Fylde boss said: “It’s always a dilemma when you have two good goalkeepers.

“Ben made a poor decision and gave the lad an opportunity to go down, whereas if he stayed on his feet he could have shepherded it out.”

“Ben didn’t have to come out because the lad wasn’t in a great position at the corner of the box, so his choice of actions should have been better and maybe he could have stayed in his goal.”

With the typical Easter period seeing Fylde play two games in three days – they head to Challinor’s former club Stockport County on Monday – the manager added: “We will make the call we think is right on the day.”

Following Saturday’s draw, the Coasters now find themselves 11 points behind league leaders Solihull Moors and the Fylde boss admitted that catching them will be “really tough and require a big turnaround”.

He added: “Our mindset is to remain optimistic but realistically we just need to get as many points as possible and finish as high as we can.

“The way things panned out on Saturday, it’s going to make it really hard to chase them down.”

Fylde have no fresh injury worries ahead of the busy Easter schedule and Challinor is hoping they can come out of the double-header in possession of six more points and second place in Vanarama National North .

The 40-year-old said: “It’s a critical time as there is an outside chance of picking up a lot of points in a short period of time for all teams.

“It’s important we do things properly because playing Saturday-Monday is a big ask. We have to prepare right for both games.”

Tomorrow’s visitors Bradford are only five points clear of the relegation zone but the Fylde boss claimed it was a “false position”.

He said: “Their team is better than their position suggests and a couple of wins will change their place massively . They were good value for their win over Chorley last weekend.”

That 1-0 victory over Fylde’s Lancashire rivals was their first under the new management regime of Darren Edmondson and Challinor is wary that the change at the helm could cause problems for his side.

He said: “A new manager brings a fresh impetus and a fight for places.

We have a really tough game on our hands. We need to make sure that we are completely focused and that we worry about our own game first.

“If we do that then we can come out of the match with a positive result.”