AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley proud of unbeaten run although 'bit of magic' was missing

One goal was enough to restore AFC Fylde to the top of National League North and extend their remarkable home record, though boss Jim Bentley would like to see his side win more comfortably and keep the nerves at bay.

By Andy Moore
Thursday, 21st October 2021, 8:00 am

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AFC Fylde players were worthy of victory against Gloucester City

Saturday’s 1-0 success against Gloucester City was Fylde’s fourth straight home win in the league this season and means they are unbeaten at Mill Farm in 15 games, a run stretching to early March 2020.

But missed chances meant the Coasters were never comfortable and only once in their last five games have Fylde scored more than once.

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Jim Bentley knows his Fylde team will be targeted as long as they remain unbeaten in National League North

It isn’t for want of attacking talent and Bentley said: “We just can’t get that second one that’s maybe going to get the opposition to come on to us a little bit more and make it a little easier to exploit.

“Sometimes, when teams put 10 outfield players behind the ball, you can’t go through them. You’ve got to work the ball side to side and try and drag the opposition out to create opportunities.

“Sooner or later they had to come out and have a go because they were 1-0 down. And as they came out of the slots we played around them numerous times, but we couldn’t find that final pass, that bit of magic.

“We’re quite blessed in the top area with players who can contribute to the goalscoring.

“Some days we might create five chances and score four. Today we’ve created numerous chances but got the all-important one. We played miles better than last week (the 1-1 draw at Alfreton Town).”

The decisive winner came from Joe Piggott, fresh from signing his one-year deal.

Bentley added: “It was nice to see him scoring. Chaddy (assistant boss Nick Chadwick) has been saying all week, ‘Feed the Pig and he will score!’

“We are pleased to have signed him and we know what he’s capable of. I had him as a teenager at Morecambe on loan from Wigan, where he worked with Chaddy for a few years. He’s a good, balanced kid. He is good with his back to play, and he rolled his defender and stroked it into the back of the net for us.”

Fylde are the division’s only unbeaten side after nine games and that record goes on the line again at Farsley Celtic on Saturday before Tuesday’s revenge mission at home to Spennymoor Town - the only team to have beaten the Coasters all season, in the FA Cup.

Bentley added: “I keep saying that all runs will come to an end but while ours is still going it’s something to build on.

“Alfreton threw up all the problems we expected and Farsley will be exactly the same. One of their centre-forwards, Jimmy Spencer, I had at Morecambe and James Hanson (another seasoned EFL striker) has gone there, so we know it will be a tough game.

“We are there to be hit and to be shot at. I’m sure Farsley will be looking to do that and we have to guard against that, do our homework and come up with our plan.

“Is it going to be a difficult game? 100 per cent. Can we win? Yes."

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