AFC Fylde boss is boosted by Gateshead win ahead of Leyton Orient test
AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes Tuesday's last-gasp win against Gateshead was the ideal boost going into one of their toughest tests of the season.
The Coasters welcome a Leyton Orient side sitting third in the National League to Mill Farm.
Danny Rowe’s late goal gave Challinor’s players a 1-0 victory in midweek, lifting them to fifth in the table and only two points behind their visitors tomorrow.
“We have missed some chances to break the deadlock in away games this season,” Challinor acknowledged.
“To stick one in at the end against Gateshead on Tuesday and get a win we probably didn’t deserve was most pleasing.
“The game was always going to be difficult. Both sides were on the back of a good result and had really good records.
“It looked like being a damp squib 0-0 but we managed to persevere and keep going.
“Zaine (Francis-Angol) made a great run, squared the ball and Rowey has thankfully bobbled one in.
“It doesn’t matter how you win. Yes, I want to win in a better manner, and if we play close to our best, we will have a good chance to win but we’ve still managed to get over the line.
“I thought we started really well in the first 10 minutes. Zaine got in down the side of them and Bondy (Andy Bond) should probably have scored, but then we lost the arm wrestle and they won the battle and got on top.
“Their front two worked their socks off and were a real threat. They caused our centre-halves problems just by being a nuisance.
“In the second half we made changes and started to get a bit of a foothold.
“The last 10 minutes were probably when we created the most situations in the whole game.
“They got tired, dropped deeper and allowed us to get our full-backs higher up.
“We try to make positive changes and we have never been great against a back five because we don’t have natural width with our wingers but the three points are massive.
“Over the season we’ve taked about the wins we could have got but didn’t, so it’s good to be talking about three points we probably didn’t deserve.
“The win sets us up nicely for Leyton Orient. They are well coached and really well organised. It’s a different challenge again but we’ll have a plan in place to hopefully win the game.”
Saturday’s game will also see two of the league’s top scorers going head to head at Mill Farm.
Rowe’s midweek winner sees him keep up the pressure on the National League’s leading marksman, Orient’s Macauley Bonne.
However, the Coasters’ striker admitted his personal targets were secondary to the club fulfilling a promotion dream this season
He said: “It’s a big game against a big club who are doing really well. I’m not thinking about Bonne.
“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to end the season as top scorer but it really is all about winning the game.”
It took the Coasters until the 93rd minute to break down the Gateshead defence on Tuesday with their patience eventually paying off.
As Rowe acknowledged, victory will give the club’s players an added boost ahead of tomorrow’s match.
“Three points are good for us confidence-wise going into Saturday,” he said.
“We were nowhere near our best and didn’t create much.
“To be fair, they stopped us creating. They were organised and difficult to play against.
“We sort of kept going and trying to making something happen.
“We got a lucky goal and you will take that if you are not playing well.”