Patience a virtue for Dave Challinor's AFC Fylde side

Fylde celebrate Neill Byrne's goal against Maidstone  Picture: STEVE MCCLELLAN
Fylde celebrate Neill Byrne's goal against Maidstone Picture: STEVE MCCLELLAN

Dave Challinor spoke of his satisfaction after AFC Fylde picked up three points against Maidstone United in what he admitted could have been a “frustrating” day for his side.

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The Coasters struggled to break down their opponents at Mill Farm on Saturday but eventually claimed the win thanks to two goals in the last 20 minutes.

Centre-back Neill Byrne handed them the lead with a header from a corner before fellow defender Arlen Birch made sure of the win with a long-range strike a minute from time.

It took Fylde up to sixth in the National League table and extended their impressive run to just one defeat in 16 games.

“It looked like it could have potentially been a frustrating day for us,” Challinor said.

“It’s always tricky when teams come and make it difficult for us by setting up as a block and just trying to defend and play on the counter.

“That first goal changes everything. We had opportunities to get it in the first half but we didn’t, so the longer it goes on the more frustrating it becomes.

“We spoke at half-time about being patient but playing with an urgency. For the first five minutes I was a bit worried to be honest as there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of urgency.

“We obviously get a bit of luck when they hit the post, which would have been a brilliant goal.

“But once we get the goal, we relax, we play the ball quicker and we play with more freedom and deservedly go on to get the second.

“I thought the first 25 minutes we were good and we put some great balls in. On another day, either one of those drops for you or we get on the end of one.

“We’ve had one cleared off the line from a corner, there’s been balls whipped in from either side. But once that happens, especially when teams are setting up defensively, there’s a tendency to go and try something else.

“What we were doing was right, it was the right way to get in; we just needed to get someone on the end of it.

“We then started to try and force the ball through the middle of the pitch where they had lots of bodies. That potentially left us open to the counter.

“Second half, we spoke about playing with urgency but it was the complete opposite really. There looked to be a nervousness with the two centre-halves on the ball, we gave it away in bad areas and we nearly got punished.

“Thankfully we didn’t and we’ve gone on to win the game and run out quite comfortable winners.”