AFC Fylde boss: Coasters aren't safe yet

Boss Chris Beech insists AFC Fylde aren’t safe despite climbing halfway up the National League with last Saturday’s 2-1 home win over bottom club Oxford City.
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One point from their previous three games had left the Coasters precariously placed in a very tight table.

Fylde climbed four places to 13th by overturning a half-time deficit against relegated Oxford.

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However, they are only five points clear of the drop zone and have played more than most teams below them.

AFC Fylde boss Chris Beech Picture: Steve McLellanAFC Fylde boss Chris Beech Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde boss Chris Beech Picture: Steve McLellan
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Beech knows the table could look very different after the two-game Easter weekend.

That sees Fylde visit Oldham Athletic on Friday before Monday’s penultimate home game against fourth-placed Gateshead.

“We can see the top of the mountain but we haven’t put the flag in the ground yet,” he told the club’s media team.

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“We’ve done brilliantly from having very little chance. We had nine points after 15 games.

“We had to get into play-off form to get to this point – but we’ve done nothing until that flag goes in the ground.”

Beech had been unaware that a Fylde victory would seal Oxford’s fate and he added: “My interest is to try to look after ourselves but my best wishes go with them.

“I went to watch them play Halifax last Sunday, and I thought they played very well and were unlucky.

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“I was talking with Justin (Merritt, Oxford’s director of football) and he was discussing how hard it is to compete at National League level now because it’s not thousands of pounds – it’s millions just to stay in the league, never mind get out of it.”

Having trailed to Josh Parker’s early opener, Fylde saw Nick Haughton set up the equaliser for Joe Westley before scoring the winner with a spectacular free-kick.

Beech added: “Nick has responded well to me. He runs harder and more now.

“At one point he was our last man and did the sliding tackle, and that’s more important for me than the winning goal.

“That was his 17th goal this season and he couldn’t hit those numbers last time he was in the National League.”