Manager Jim Bentley takes positives from unwanted break as AFC Fylde prepare to face Altrincham in FA Cup

AFC Fylde will make the most of an unwanted weekend off as they prepare to face Altrincham in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup a week tomorrow.

Friday, 16th October 2020, 8:00 am
Jim Bentley (left) and his management team watch AFC Fylde make it four wins out of four in all competitions this season at Farsley Celtic Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

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Jim Bentley’s side were building momentum nicely after starting the season with four wins in 11 days (two in National League North, two in the FA Cup), so the postponement of tomorrow’s home match against Kettering Town due to coronavirus at the Northamptonshire club is less than welcome.

It will be highly surprising if this is the only fixture Fylde lose to the pandemic but boss Bentley is confident the season will be completed as planned.

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The Coasters manager told The Gazette: “The postponement tomorrow is not what we wanted. We were keen to keep the momentum going but with the Covid situation safety has to come first.

“I always try to be positive when a fixture is postponed and this gives us an opportunity to regroup and get over a couple of knocks.

“It’s been a busy start, with quite a bit of travelling, and that has been on the back of six months without competitive football and a tough pre-season.

“But we’ll use the time wisely with no game this weekend.

“There will be some hard-earned rest, some physical work and we’ll take stock as we prepare for the FA Cup.

“The season will carry on. It will be bitty but I’m hopeful we will fulfil the whole season.

“Nobody knows what is around the corner, but hopefully we will get to complete our season and ideally play in front of crowds again before too long.”

Kettering’s trip to Mill Farm has been rearranged for Tuesday, October 27, meaning the Coasters’ next match will be the home clash with Altrincham in the FA Cup’s final qualifying round.

The teams met at Mill Farm only three weeks ago, playing out a 2-2 draw in Fylde’s final pre-season game.

Altrincham are still awaiting their first win three games into the National League season, having swapped divisions with Fylde after their play-off success.

The tie rewards Fylde’s FA Cup wins over Hyde United and Farsley Celtic and Bentley said of the draw: “Cup draws can always be better or worse but hopefully being at home will be an advantage.

“We only met recently, so we know what they are all about and vice versa, and (recent signing) Jordan Hulme will be looking forward to playing his former club.

“The clubs have swapped divisions but I don’t think that matters much for this tie.

“We want to get used to winning, and we want to go through to the first round proper and get as far as we can in the competition.”

FA Cup fourth qualifying round draw (ties to be played October 24)