'AFC Fylde demand better', James Rowe tells players after play-off defeat

James Rowe branded AFC Fylde's play-off performance as “unacceptable” but insisted they will “come back stronger next year”.

By Andy Moore
Thursday, 19th May 2022, 8:00 am

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AFC Fylde 0 Boston United 2: Play-off semi-final defeat for the Coasters

Fylde must settle for a third season in National League North after losing their semi-final 2-0 at home to Boston United last weekend

It was a first defeat at Mill Farm for manager Rowe, who had won eight of his previous 13 games in charge to secure third place in the table.

James Rowe takes a share of the blame for Fylde's failure to win promotion Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

Boston, who Fylde beat twice during the regular season, head to York City for Saturday’s final and Rowe said: “I want to give credit to Paul (Cox, Boston boss) and his team. They deserved the win.

“For us, we didn’t perform. I don’t think it was anything to do with tactics but we failed to find connections.

“The front three didn’t connect, the midfield two didn’t find any passes between the lines.

“Even when we got into good positions, the decisions weren’t right or the technical execution wasn’t right and that’s why we couldn’t get a grip of the game.

“I just said to the lads that we demand better here at Fylde.

“That’s probably why I’ve been stood in front of them for the last 14 games because the underbelly clearly wasn’t good enough to win the league. Again, when it’s come to the moment, we haven’t taken it.

“We didn’t handle the occasion well enough and quite a few of our players will go home disappointed with their performance.

“I’ll take my medicine too, reflect on the game and we’ll come back stronger next year.

“There’s a lot to be proud of from the 14 games but unfortunately the opposition had more energy than us and they played two-and-a-half days ago (beating Kidderminster in their play-off opener).”

Fylde’s Nick Haughton has been named in the National League North team of the season.

The forward was the league’s second-top scorer with 26, two behind player of the season Macaulay Langstaff.

Team of the season: Lewis, Dean, Lomas (all Brackley), Penny, Austin (both Kidderminster), Olley (Gateshead), Byrne (Boston), Haughton (Fylde), Taylor (Spennymoor), Langstaff, Scott (both Gateshead).