AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley praises debutant keeper Bobby Jones as Chris Neal is granted time away
Debutant goalkeeper Bobby Jones earned the praise of manager Jim Bentley after helping AFC Fylde return to winning ways on the road.
The National League North leaders had lost their previous two away games but moved two points clear at the top on Saturday, coming from behind to win 2-1 thanks to Joe Piggott’s brace.
And Jones celebrated his 20th birthday with a fine display as Coasters number one Chris Neal was granted time away from the club to address personal issues.
Keeper Jones signed a one-year deal in the summer after three seasons at Wigan Athletic and made the most of his first opportunity with some eye-catching saves.
Boss Bentley said: “That’s what he’s there for. He’s highly-rated and trains well every day.
“Chris has family issues at the minute. Everyone is human and it can affect you in different ways.
“He’ll be disappointed with his decision-making for the goals at Curzon last week but Chris has been absolutely superb for us this season.
“He’s still in credit but things in life are more important than football. Chris hasn’t been in over the past week.
“Bobby has trained really well and is well respected and liked. He’s kicked on in his training in the last couple of weeks and he was superb at Telford.
“Their keeper (Ted Cann) was excellent as well, so it was good to see two young keepers battling it out on the pitch but Bobby came out on top.”
Jones may well keep his place for Saturday's home game with Gateshead, when Fylde turn their attentions to the FA Trophy.
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