AFC Fylde winger may face a lengthy spell on the sidelines
New signing Nathan Shaw could be a longer-term casualty for AFC Fylde after their summer arrival from Blackpool picked up a hamstring injury in the opening match of the season.
The Coasters moved quickly to bring in highly-rated Preston North End teenager Jacob Holland-Wilkinson on a month’s loan to replace the winger.
The youngster came off the bench for the closing moments of Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Boston United while striker Joe Piggott, Fylde’s other new signing announced that day, played the full 90 minutes.
Former Wigan frontman Piggott also replaced a hamstring victim, Jack Sampson, and has signed a short-term deal.
“A hamstring first game is very disappointing. He’s a key player for us and a young lad who has never been injured before, so we have to make sure we do right by him and get him back as soon as possible when he’s ready and fit.
“So we’re a little bit light in that area and we brought Jacob in from Preston, who is highly thought of.
“He’s had a couple of loan moves already. He’s been at Kendal and stepped up to Lancaster last season and did well.
“He can play anywhere in the front line. He has a bit of pace and has been in with the Preston first team during pre-season, so that’s a good one for us.”
Bentley hopes to have Sampson available again for Saturday’s trip to Hereford but the manager was full of praise for Piggott.
He added: “Joe is a lad I had on loan (at Morecambe) from Wigan, where Chaddy (Fylde assistant boss Nick Chadwick) has worked with him for a long time.
“I thought he was excellent to lead the line for 90 minutes after only training with us for a day or two. Every credit to him.
“Jack Sampson had a hernia in pre-season and a few little niggles, and we probably just pushed him on a little too soon with the suspension of Jordan Hulme. But he should train again this week and be available next weekend.
“It’s been a bit stop-start for Jack since coming to the club. He got Covid and lost weight, and he got sent off at Alfreton, but when he got going we saw what a good player he is.”
The Hereford game is quickly followed by Southport’s visit to Mill Farm on Bank Holiday Monday as Fylde bid to build on six points from the first two games.
Nick Haughton couldn’t quite convert his third penalty in two matches but he scored the rebound to decide Saturday’s first home fixture against Boston United.
Bentley said: “I’m really pleased because we knew it was going to be a tough game. Boston are an ambitious club, who have bought good players and are a big, strong, physical side.
“They have changed their shape and Tom Platt did an excellent job on Nick.
“Nick just has to accept that he’s a key player for us and, sometimes, players are going to get all over him to nullify his threat.
“They were well drilled and worked extremely hard but we got our just deserts in the end.
“A couple of their opportunities came from our slack play, where we gave it away and they broke, but we kept plugging away and, when called upon, Chris Neal made an excellent save right at the end.
“My little criticism of us is our final third stuff. We’re playing some nice football to get up there but then it’s just that decision....
“But it’s another win and clean sheet. I’m really pleased with six points and on to the next one.”
Elsewhere, Fylde have announced midfielder Owen Robinson has joined Northern Premier League club Warrington Rylands on a month’s loan.
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