AFC Fylde boss targets an improved FA Cup run this season

Fylde boss Dave Challinor with the FA Cup ahead of last season's second-round tie against Wigan
Fylde boss Dave Challinor with the FA Cup ahead of last season's second-round tie against Wigan

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor wants to improve on last season’s run to the second round of the FA Cup as his side prepares to host Chesterfield tomorrow.

If Fylde beat Chesterfield in the fourth qualifying round they could earn another crack at an EFL club in the first round proper.

The Coasters have never defeated Football League opposition but came close last term, when they led 2-1 with 10 minutes to player in their second-round replay at Wigan.

Challinor’s men ultimately lost 3-2 to the former cup winners, who went on to win promotion to the Championship. Fylde had held Paul Cook’s Latics to a 1-1 draw in the original tie at Mill Farm.

It was the furthest stage Fylde have ever reached in the famous competition.

Such an agonising cup exit could have derailed the National League side but instead Challinor believes that defeat galvanised his men, who clinched a play-off spot in their first season at non-league’s elite level.

And now as they prepare to face Chesterfield for the second time in a fortnight, Challinor has his sights set on making more history.

The clubs played out a goalless draw at the Proact Stadium recently – Fylde’s fifth 0-0 away from home in the National League this season.

But with his side sixth in the league table, having conceded only one goal in their last seven games, Challinor is keen for a promotion push and says the league is their priority, though that does not mean he will be making mass changes this weekend.

He said of tomorrow’s tie: “It is a priority but is not as important as the league.

“We want to beat any team we play and we want to progress in the FA Cup.

“Last year we had that TV game with Wigan and we were unfortunate not to win.

“I thinks sometimes cup exits can stall momentum but we were galvanised by the defeat.

“It was a lightbulb moment that proved we could not just compete in our own league but could hold our own against sides in the divisions above.

“If we keep doing what we have been doing we can win on Saturday.

“We know what the FA Cup means in terms of prize money. Now we want to go on and better what we did last year.”

Winger Danny Williams, recently signed on loan from Accrington Stanley, is an injury doubt along with Lewis Montrose, who is yet to play this season.

Speaking of squad selection, Challinor said: “We will certainly not be making lots of changes. We want to win.

“We sort of know what to expect, having faced Chesterfield only the other week.

“It is beneficial for us and them having only just played each other – we both know what to expect.

“I’m not sure how they will approach the FA Cup but we will be looking to improve on how we did at their place.”