AFC Fylde aim to complete survival mission

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​​Team boss Chris Beech warned AFC Fylde that good preparation will only get them so far as they seek to secure their National League survival on home turf in the coming days.

Back-to-back wins had propelled the Coasters towards mid-table security, though lingering fears remain after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet United.

Midweek results have left Fylde 16th, five points clear of the drop zone and needing – at most – five more from three games.

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Fylde look to complete the job as Mill Farm stages its final two games of the season within 48 hours.

Gerald McCullion scores moments into his Fylde debut at Ebbsfleet  Photo: Steve McLellanGerald McCullion scores moments into his Fylde debut at Ebbsfleet  Photo: Steve McLellan
Gerald McCullion scores moments into his Fylde debut at Ebbsfleet Photo: Steve McLellan
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Top-six side Gateshead are Thursday’s visitors, for a game rained off on Easter Monday, before Southend United arrive on Saturday.

Head coach Beech said his players will be ready but told the club’s media team: “We always respect the opponent and preparation is everything – but it’s absolutely nothing when you start the game.

“Then it’s about passing that baton on. The lads have done great – even at Ebbsfleet they kept going.

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“That didn’t really represent what we are very good at. We didn’t do what we can do and that’s the overall disappointment.”

Hit by a brace from Ben Chapman in Kent, Fylde’s only reply was a late strike by Academy graduate Gerald McCullion, moments after coming on for his senior debut.

Beech had no complaints about the result and admitted: “We didn’t deserve to win. When we got our goal, I thought we might get another one but we need to be better at trying to chase a game.

“It’s a position we don’t normally put ourselves in.

“We weren’t quite right. We weren’t passing well or taking players on, and we didn’t dominate the midfield. They were definitely better than us.

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“I did say to the lads, ‘We’ve done great prep on these guys and they are in great form. These guys will be right at it, especially with where they are in the league.’

“We’ve done really well to put ourselves in a position of chance, having had no chance, but of course this was disappointing.”

The Coasters will stage a fans’ forum in the Churchill’s banqueting suite at Mill Farm next Monday from 6.30pm.

Chairman David Haythornthwaite, Beech and his assistant, Nick Anderton, will take questions and outline plans for next season.