AFC Fylde chart-topper Rowe aiming to strike again and again

Danny Rowe scores his second at Gateshead
Danny Rowe scores his second at Gateshead

AFC Fylde hitman Danny Rowe continues to defy the odds after going three goals clear at the top of the National League goalscoring charts.

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Some questioned whether Rowe could replicate the form that saw him reach 50 goals in National North last term but the 29-year-old’s match- winning double at Gateshead on Saturday took him to 18 league strikes for the season.

Rowe admits opportunities have been harder to come by since the Coasters’ promotion to the fifth tier of English football but the prolific frontman is making light work of the step up.

Rowe said: “I knew this season would be different in terms of scoring goals. We were scoring three, fours and fives every week last year and I ended up with 50. It just wasn’t going to be that easy this time around.

“Individually and as a team, we were inevitably going to get less chances but I’m delighted to be right up there again in the charts. I managed to get a couple on Saturday, which made up for the last weekend when I felt I should have done better against Eastleigh.”

The Coasters jumped back up into the play-off places thanks to their 2-1 victory at Gateshead but Rowe isn’t getting carried away.

“We would have liked to keep a clean sheet but if we had been offered three points before the game we’d definitely have taken it,” he said.

“It’s a very tough place to go, so it was a very good result. They had chances of their own but I thought we were completely in control.

“They scored with the last kick of the game and it was against the run of play, so it was disappointing but I never felt under any real pressure.

“We need to keep winning at this stage to stay in the play-offs. I want to score goals but I’d take the points over goals every time.

“I think it’s tougher when you are in the play-offs all season because teams raise their game and the pressure mounts.

“It’s great that we are in the play-offs again but it counts for nothing right now. We need to keep going and hopefully we are still up there on the last day, when it matters.”

Rowe is also delighted to have fellow forwards Henry Jones and James Hardy back in the fold after injury. “Henry is a very good player because he creates a lot of chances and makes clever runs. Having him and James back is a massive boost.”