No need to worry over Blyth Spartans defeat says AFC Fylde boss​​​​​​​

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​​AFC Fylde boss Adam Murray believes the shock 3-0 home defeat by Blyth Spartans was “just one of those nights” rather than a case of the National League North leaders' gruelling schedule taking its toll.
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AFC Fylde 0 Blyth Spartans 3: Shock setback for leaders

It was a sixth Tuesday match in seven weeks for the Coasters and only their second defeat in 20 games since the turn of the year.

And ahead of fourth-placed Brackley Town's visit to Mill Farm tomorrow, Murray insisted he wasn't “overly worried” by a scoreline he felt “flattered” the struggling Spartans.

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Action in the Blyth Spartans box but it wasn't Fylde's night in front of goal Picture: STEVE MCLELLANAction in the Blyth Spartans box but it wasn't Fylde's night in front of goal Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Action in the Blyth Spartans box but it wasn't Fylde's night in front of goal Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

The head coach told The Gazette: “I was really happy with the performance. We had the highest stats we've had all season for physical distances and 70 per cent-plus possession.

"We just couldn't finish and for all our domination we didn't create enough clear-cut chances.

People will look at the scoreline but it was never a 3-0 game. I think that if you are losing 1-0 you may as well go out all guns blazing and risk them scoring more on the counter. They scored two in the last 10 minutes but we had six strikers on at the end.

“When we lost to Hereford (3-1 at home, Fylde's only other defeat of 2023), I was disappointed with the performance but on Tuesday we did everything right except score.

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"We are still in pole position, everything is in our hands and there is good energy about the group.

“We've been on a great run (winning their previous four) and had a little punch in the face but we always bounce back.”

Murray's side still top the table by five points with a game in hand on their two closest challengers, King's Lynn Town and Chester.

That extra game won't be played until the final week of the season and Murray is relieved that Fylde's fixture backlog has been virtually cleared.

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He added: “When I first came in, we had all those games in hand and the task was to turn those into points, which we have done.

“Now it's a case of staying focused, doing all the things that have worked well for us so far and getting over the line.

“Nobody ever said it would be easy and I've always said this season would be a battle to the end."

Tomorrow’s visitors Brackley are without a win in six games and have drawn their last three, having also shared the spoils 1-1 with Fylde in October.

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Murray added: “It will definitely be a tough test. They are up there for a reason and are hard to beat.

"We are going to have to try to break them down and watch for their counter, which is what we face most weeks.

“We have good players in there and if they were missing chances week in, week out we wouldn't be top of the league.

"What happened on Tuesday happens to every team and every individual through the season, but I have full belief in these players and I know we'll come back strong.”

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n Squires Gate and AFC Blackpool are both looking to back up last weekend's North West Counties League wins, though Gate face a tough test at home to premier division leaders Vauxhall Motors tomorrow.

Only one point separates the top three and Vauxhall will expect no favours from a Gate side who beat Prestwich Heys 5-2 last time out.

In First Division North, AFC visit Atherton LR in a mid-table match.