“Wembley is not the place for losers,” warned AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor as he prepared to take his side to the national stadium on the next two weekends.
Challinor’s Coasters won through to Saturday’s National League play-off final against Salford City courtesy of their 1-0 semi-final win away to league runners-up Solihull Moors, where former Blackpool forward Danny Philliskirk’s early strike proved decisive.
The winners next weekend will earn promotion to the EFL alongside champions Leyton Orient, who Fylde face at Wembley on May 19 in the FA Trophy final.
Challinor said: “I’m delighted, really proud. The players can enjoy tonight before we reflect and focus on Saturday.
“Getting to Wembley isn’t the ultimate goal – that goal is to become a Football League club.
“We knew coming to Solihull that our two centre-halves would need to have good games and they epitomised what we showed today.
“We spoke about cuts and blood, and that was the case today. Yes, we’ve earned a little bit of luck but you need that as well as having our keeper making saves.”
“I had a feeling at half-time that the players knew they’d be camped in, which is a risky way of playing, but we were resolute and with good fortune we’ve done it.”