Three days made all the difference for Fylde hero Hardy

James Hardy  Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
James Hardy Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

AFC Fylde matchwinner James Hardy believes his side have turned a corner after securing back-to-back wins in the National League.

The Coasters kicked off the bank holiday weekend with an impressive 2-0 victory away to former Football League side Hartlepool before seeing off rivals Barrow on Monday evening in the club’s first-ever live televised fixture.

Hardy sealed the points at Mill Farm against Barrow with a second-half header – the first goal of the season for a midfielder who netted eight times last term.

The 21-year-old spent the latter stages of last season sidelined through injury, but has been a regular on Dave Challinor’s team sheet since the start of the new campaign.

Two victories on the bounce have seen Fylde shoot up into the top half of the table and Hardy believes the only way is up for the Coasters.

Hardy said: “Six points is great for us. We have had to work very hard for this, so we are delighted.

“Two wins in such a short space of time have been a big boost and it sees us climb the table now.

“All of a sudden we are in a really good position, and hopefully we can build on it and carry on moving up the league over the next few weeks.

“We have had two clean sheets in a row too, so all in all it was a very good weekend.”

The Coasters cruised to the National League title back in April, and whilst Hardy admits this division is proving far tougher, he believes his side do not look out of place.

Fylde have lost only one of their opening seven games, a record bettered only by unbeaten second-placed club Dagenham and Redbridge.

Hardy added: “So far we have seen the league is stronger than the National League North but I don’t think we have anything to be frightened of.

“We have competed in every game this season and lost just once, which is a huge credit to everyone considering we are brand new to this league.”