Fans' key role in final Fylde push
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor and chief executive Neil Joy have called on fans for one final push as the National League North season reaches a thrilling finale.
The Coasters have seen their lead at the top of the table slashed following defeat at Stalybridge Celtic over the weekend and senior figures at the club believe the backing of the fans will be key as Fylde look to get over the line.
The table-toppers travel to FC Halifax Town on Good Friday before welcoming Bradford Park Avenue to Mill Farm on Easter Monday.
Mr Joy said: “We are set to take our largest away following of the season to Halifax on Friday which is fantastic.
“I’ve said it several times during the campaign but our supporters have been magnificent all season.
“They really are the ‘12th Man’ for our team. It promises to be a fantastic atmosphere at The Shay on Friday.
“Chally and the team have put themselves in a great position with everyone working so hard to ensure that our destiny is in our own hands with just four matches to go.
“Games like these are why we love football so much. I urge everyone to give one last push so that, together, we can achieve the promotion everyone’s efforts deserve.
“Unprecedented crowds, phenomenal goalscoring feats, attractive attacking football, sell out hospitality – the first season here at Mill Farm has had all this and more.
“All expectations for our first campaign in our new home have been exceeded. All that remains is the perfect ending that everyone’s efforts deserve. It would be an incredible achievement to be promoted from this league.
“In my opinion, it is the most competitive league in football with any team capable of beating any other on the day.
“Right through all the officials, staff, management, players and supporters – now is the time to stand tall and be counted.”
Challinor was also keen to emphasise the importance of the supporters with a potentially season-defining Easter weekend on the horizon.
He said: “The Easter weekend is huge for us with two games in quick succession and we will need the backing of the fans, both on the road and at Mill Farm, more than ever.
“Saturday’s result doesn’t change our preparation for this weekend. We want to get the defeat out of our system as quickly as possible.
“We have a huge prize waiting for us at the end of the season and we have to be mentally strong to make sure we get over the line. It is still in our hands.”
Fylde received a welcome boost last night when title rivals Kidderminster lost their game in hand 1-0 at Stalybridge Celtic.
It means the Coasters remain six points clear at the top of Vanarama National North with four matches to play, and could clinch the title over the Easter weekend if results go their way.
It’s second-bottom Stalybridge’s second shock home win in four days, having beaten Fylde 2-1 on Saturday.