More scorers from defence - that's Dave Challinor's goal for AFC Fylde

Arlen Birch's effort hits the net for Fylde against Maidstone Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Arlen Birch's effort hits the net for Fylde against Maidstone Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor has called on his centre-halves to get their names on the scoresheet more often to relieve the pressure on the Coasters’ attacking talent.

READ MORE: Fylde's defence is tighter but attack has suffered says Danny Rowe
It comes after defender Neill Byrne bagged his first goal of the season in Fylde’s 2-0 win against Maidstone United on Saturday.

His header helped Fylde to a hard-earned victory, with both goals coming in the final 20 minutes of the match.

Byrne’s centre-back partner Jordan Tunnicliffe, who bagged six goals last season, has yet to notch this term.

With star striker Danny Rowe only finding the back of the net once in his last eight games, Challinor wants the goals to be spread around the team.

The Coasters boss said: “I had a bit of a dig at half-time about the first 25 minutes, when we’ve had balls put into the box but people have got to show the desire to get in there.

“We’ve now played 16 games and that’s the first goal a centre-half has scored.

“They’ve been challenged by me because Jordan (Tunnicliffe) got six last season and I think both of them should be getting at least five goals a season with the set pieces we’ve had and the quality we get into the box.

“But for him to get a goal – and the first goal of the game to settle us down – was great.”

Fylde made sure of the three points last Saturday thanks to a sweetly-struck effort from distance from the boot of right-back Arlen Birch in the final minute of normal time.

It was an unexpected way to round off the win for Challinor’s men, who now sit sixth in the National League table, having lost only once all season.

“Arlen’s goal is a great strike,” the Fylde boss added.

“We need different people pitching in. You expect your full-backs not to get as many because of how we deploy them, and at set-pieces they’re the two who come back.

“But I’d still expect them to get two or three each.

“I didn’t expect Arlen’s to come in that manner but it’s a great way to finish a game and lead us to a 2-0 win.”

The league is put to one side this weekend as Fylde host Chesterfield in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The tie comes just a fortnight after the teams’ last meeting – a 0-0 draw at Chesterfield’s Proact Stadium.

The Coasters will be looking for a repeat of last season’s record-breaking run in the cup, which saw them progress to the second round proper.

Fylde were narrowly beaten by Wigan Athletic after taking their replay to extra-time, having led 2-1 with 10 minutes to play.