Champagne toast to Blinkhorn’s sparkling strikes

Dave Challinor and Matt Blinkhorn
Dave Challinor and Matt Blinkhorn
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Star striker Danny Rowe scored 50 goals for National North champions AFC Fylde, but two of the season’s most important goals came from the man who had to play second fiddle to the League’s Player of the Year.

Long-serving striker Matt Blinkhorn picked the perfect time to score his first of the season in the 97th minute against title rivals Kidderminster in March – arguably the pivotal moment in the run-in.

Blinkhorn followed up with another equally important last-gasp equaliser against Bradford Park Avenue in the penultimate home game to put the Coasters in pole position for the championship.

Manager Dave Challinor named the striker’s strike against Kidderminster as his ‘Champagne Moment of the Season’ and Blinkhorn, who is in contract negotiations, was delighted to play his part in the Coasters’ glory.

Blinkhorn said: “It’s always a good feeling to score but to score two goals that have been a massive part of our season was fantastic. You look at Rowey and you see the amount he’s scored. He’s been a massive success this season.

“He’s got us over the line more than my two goals but I am made up to get an accolade for my contribution.

“It’s hard to describe the emotions after I scored against Kidderminster. It was my first of the season and it had been a long time coming because I’d been sitting on the bench most of the season. To come on and score as very emotional. You could tell from the reaction of all the lads jumping on me as well. I was ecstatic.

“The goal against Bradford was also very important because Kidderminster could have closed the gap, and they probably thought they had a chance of winning it before that goal went in. That goal kept the gap at four points, so psychologically it was perhaps even bigger than the one against Kidderminster.

“It’s hard to say where that goal ranks in my career because if you score any goal you’re made up. When you score in semi-finals and finals they’re amazing goals. The goals I scored against Kidderminster and Bradford were equally important.

“It’s a good accolade to get from the manager. The chairman spoke to me as well and he was made up with me.”

DANIEL AGNEW