GOALKEEPER Scott Davies has tipped AFC Fylde to copy his Fleetwood Town side by surging upwards.
The Town No.1 was certainly tested by a determined Fylde team before his team emerged 2-1 winners in Saturday’s Warton friendly – and the Fylde coast’s top two non-league clubs continue to warm-up for their promotion quests with more intriguing matches this week.
Fleetwood played at the same level as Fylde, now known as the Evo-Stik First Division, only five years again, since when they have won promotion three times and are targeting a place in the Football League.
And keeper Davies, who completed a happy weekend by getting engaged, sees no reason why Fylde can’t follow in their footsteps.
The former Morecambe keeper said: “Fylde were impressive and are like we were a couple of years ago. They can only go upwards with the team they have.
“They created problems for us, which is what you want in pre-season.”
Though Town are yet to keep a clean sheet after three friendlies, Davies was pleased with his 70-minute run-out. He added: “Winning is good habit to get into. You have to respect the opposition and I think we did that, especially in the second half. We showed what we are all about and we got the result we wanted.”
Striker Lee Thorpe is the latest former Town player to join the ranks of Fylde, who face Fleetwood’s Conference rivals Southport tonight.
Town’s busy pre-season programme continues tomorrow at home to a Manchester United XI expected to comprise exciting youth team prospects.
Fleetwood assistant manager Steve McCauley warns that the Old Trafford youngsters certainly can’t be taken lightly.
He said: “Trust me, those lads at United can play football and we’ll have to be on our mettle.”
Micky Mellon’s No.2 was pleased with Town’s first pre-season win at Fylde, adding: “We were disappointed to lose 4-0 to Preston last week, No-one likes a defeat like that but we’re back to winning ways now and it’s something to build on. We got no injuries either, which is always a plus.”
Town have already had their share of injury misfortune – left-back Junior Brown will be out of action for months after damaging knee ligaments early in the Preston game, the second successive season he has suffered such an injury.
McCauley said: “The tackle on Brown was right in front of the dugout and you could see he really opened up the medial ligament. But it’s one of those things that’s part and parcel of football and he’ll come back stronger.”
Better news for McCauley was the double strike by matchwinner Richard Brodie.
“He is a forward and they like scoring goals no matter if it’s pre-season or a cup final. He was buzzing after his second and was after hat-trick, which is what he’s all about.”
Fylde manager Kelham O’Hanlon felt Brodie’s winner should have been disallowed but he is happy to move on to the next challenge tonight.
He said: “There’s nothing won or lost in July. It’s about getting a group of players together and all singing from the same hymnsheet. Hopefully by start of the season we’ll have that.”
Fleetwood have moved to ease their congested friendly programme by cancelling Saturday’s scheduled match at Chester. They do, however, intend to honour two fixtures next Tuesday, at home to Latvian side FK Jelgava and away to Northwich Victoria.
*AFC Fylde v Southport: tonight, 7.45pm, admission £7 (concessions £3/5, under-12s free).
*Fleetwood Town v Manchester United XI: tomorrow, 7.30pm, admission £8 (concessions £4).