Chester match most important for Adam Murray and AFC Fylde league leaders

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AFC Fylde would have liked Tuesday’s top-of-the-table tussle at Kings Lynn Town to have gone ahead but boss Adam Murray welcomed the break in a busy schedule.
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AFC Fylde boss Adam Murray set to keep ringing changes ahead of visit to Scarbor...

With most National League North matches frozen off last Saturday, the Coasters overtook Kings Lynn at the top with a 2-1 victory at Scarborough Athletic which head coach Murray labelled “one of the season's toughest tests”.

And Tuesday’s postponement means Fylde take their three-point advantage into tomorrow’s home clash with Chester.

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Adam Murray leads the supporters' singalong after the victory at Scarborough Picture: STEVE MCLELLANAdam Murray leads the supporters' singalong after the victory at Scarborough Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Adam Murray leads the supporters' singalong after the victory at Scarborough Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

Fylde’s impressive form – they have recorded five straight league victories in 2023 and won 10 of their last 11 – means Murray’s side were in the ideal frame of mind to face to Kings Lynn, though they are familiar with midweek call-offs. Four of their last five Tuesday league games have been postponed.

Murray told The Gazette: “We are getting used to games being called off and a bit of carnage in the schedule.

"It would have been nice to have played at Kings Lynn but nothing would have been won on Tuesday night.”

It all affords Fylde some unexpected full weeks on the training ground, with no more midweek matches scheduled until February 14, when the visit to Kettering Town starts a run of five successive Tuesday games.

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Fylde have played a match more than Kings Lynn but have games in hand on all the other clubs in the top half of the table

Murray added: “We’ve gone from full-on weeks to a couple of breaks but we’ll have to catch up eventually.

"We know we have to balance the load for the players for a tough test on Saturday.”

Tomorrow’s visitors Chester have drawn all four games since Christmas but remain in the top six and Fylde were forced to scrap for a 1-0 win in a controversial clash at the Deva in August.

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Murray said: “Chester are having a good season and bring their own strengths but we’re looking forward to it. For us, it's the same as usual and the next game is always the most important.”

Goals by Emeka Obi, who this week extended his Fylde contract, and Mo Faal maintained Fylde's winning run at Scarborough and Murray reflected: “I really think Scarborough are a good team, so to beat them on their own patch is huge for us.

"We didn’t handle it as well as we could in the early stages and we knew they would start fast. Credit to Scarborough for putting us on the back foot. We needed to tweak things but we got hold of the game.”

Speaking immediately after the game, Murray had accepted some responsibility for a slow start which saw his side fall behind. He told the club website: “We weren't great in the first 20 minutes. Part of that was my fault because I got the team structure wrong to start off with

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“But they keep pushing, so when they get punched on the chin, they get up and come straight back at you. It's a great group to be involved in.”

That group also withstood some unusual disruptions, which included a fire alarm and a drone overhead.

Murray told The Gazette: “The whole game was bonkers and it’s not ideal having to go back to the dressing room but we handled it well.”