Midfielder Lawlor on board as Fylde bid to bounce back

Jake Lawlor
Jake Lawlor

AFC Fylde have boosted their midfield ranks with the loan signing of Jake Lawlor from National League rivals Guiseley as they bid to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing result.

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The Coasters appeared to be heading for a third straight win at Mill Farm as, with just two minutes to go, they led Hartlepool United 3-1. But a late fightback from Pools saw them score twice at the death to deny Fylde all three points.

Challinor wants his players to use that result as motivation at Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday and has strengthened his hand with the signing of Lawlor for the rest of the season.

The new recruit, who turns 27 next month and can also play centre-half, has spent the last five years with Guiseley. He has played 24 games for the National League’s bottom club this season but has been out of action since New Year’s Day.

He joins a Coasters side who are four points adrift of the play-off zone with eight games to play.

Challinor admits it was bitterly disappointing to be denied so late on in the game but believes his players will learn from the experience.

He told The Gazette: “When I look back at it, we were in control of the game. We just had lapses in concentration that resulted in them having half-chances.

“Ultimately those lapses in concentration cost us the win. We only have ourselves to blame for that.

“In the second half we were much better, scored the three goals and the game seemed to be drawing to a close without a whole lot going on.

“But the goal they scored gives them momentum and it changes the course of the game, giving us an uncomfortable last five minutes. Then they go and get another one.

“Other than those two shots, they’ve not had another attempt at goal in the second half, so we’ve been totally dominant.

“You can over-analyse things but they’re two freak goals really. They’re great strikes from them.

“But they cost us two points and it is disappointing, but that’s gone now and we can’t affect it.

“We can only learn from it and try to use it as motivation to go and win on Saturday.”

Dagenham & Redbridge were among the favourites to be promoted at the start of the season.

But the club, which has endured issues off-the-field this season, currently finds itself in mid-table.

“It will be a tough game but a good one,” Challinor added.

“It’s an ex-league club with a good ground to go and play our football.

“They’ve had their troubles off the pitch. They would have been up there as one of the favourites to get promoted back to the Football League but it’s not materialised for them.

“I watched them last Tuesday against Halifax (where they lost 2-1) and probably saw the good and bad sides of them.

“They were very good in the first half but in the second half they were very poor.

“I suppose they’re a little bit inconsistent, which isn’t a massive surprise seeing as they’ve had so many changes.

“But on their day they are a very good side, so we expect a very tough game.

“It’s a game where we need to put in a performance and win.

“I think it will be similar systems and similar styles. It’s just a case that the best performance on the day will win. Hopefully that’s us.”

Midfielder Sam Finley sits out the second game of a three-match ban, while Fylde will also be without defender aine Francis-Angol, who is away on international duty with Antigua and Barbuda.