Rawlings will lead from the front for Fylde

Gareth Rawlings
Gareth Rawlings
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Second row forward Gareth Rawlings has been handed the job of skippering Fylde RFC as they bid to get back on course in National League One away to third-placed Blackheath tomorrow.

Lock Rawlings steps up to lead the side in the absence of regular captain Chris Briers, who is unavailable for the trip to the capital.

The imperative for Fylde is to eradicate the slow start that so seriously compromised their chances in the match against Darlington Mowden Park at the Woodlands last Saturday.

Fylde got their act together in the second half and almost pulled back the match out of the fire deep into added time.

Having reduced their 21-0 half-time deficit to 21-17, Fylde saw winger Anthony Bingham knock on in attempting to touch down for a match-winning try.

Although the decision did not find favour with home supporters, player-coach Paul Arnold had no quibble and did not believe that the referee had made the wrong call.

Looking back on the defeat that saw Fylde go behind 21-0 down in 20 minutes after a fraught opening, Arnold said: “I have watched the video twice and the first try came from a missed tackle – the only missed tackle we made in the whole game.

“We then gave a second try after a lineout and the third was an interception try.

“The way we played in the first half was unacceptable, but we were better in the second half and could even have nicked it at the finish.”

Arnold is telling his side not to be fazed by the trip to the Rectory Field in south-east London.

Memories are still fresh of Fylde’s previous visit to Blackheath in April, when they produced their best away performance of last season to secure an outstanding 32-12 victory.

Arnold said: “I don’t think we should have any fear of going down there.

“It’s a place where we have done well in the past and we have good speed in the backs to test them.”

Prop Simon Griffiths will miss the match with an ankle injury.

Jordan Dorrington comes in at full-back to replace Warren Spragg, who steps down to the bench.