Tom Walker walks straight into massive challenge at AFC Fylde

AFC Fylde’s new signing Tom Walker was delighted to get off of the mark on his debut but knows that there’s a big challenge ahead now for National League survival.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 6:00 am
Tom Walker scored just 13 minutes into his AFC Fylde debut
Tom Walker scored just 13 minutes into his AFC Fylde debut

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The 24-year-old recalled: “I picked up the ball on the halfway line, looked up and I’ve just seen one man, so I thought I’d carry it and keep carrying it.

“As I got closer, I saw the keeper not set, so I thought I’d just hit that as hard as I could and thankfully it just flew in the top corner.”

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However, it ultimately counted for little as goals from Asa Hall, Jamie Reid and Ben Whitfield followed for Torquay.

And although Jordan Williams’ 11th goal of the season cut the deficit to 3-2 and set up a grandstand finish, the defeat saw Fylde slip to third-bottom.

“It was nice to see it go in, but it didn’t last very long as we conceded a goal from a set-piece shortly after that,” added Walker, who had scored at Mill Farm three weeks earlier on loan with Stockport County.

“Then obviously we’re just fighting the game again, and unfortunately they scored another one to make it 2-1.”

“Half-time came up and we knew we were in a bit of a dogfight and had to get out there and try to get a win.

“I think me, the lads and the manager were pretty devastated about not getting the three points and we know now we have to kick on.”

The Coasters travel to face relegation-zone rivals Chesterfield this Saturday, a clash which could prove to be massive come the end of the season.

Chesterfield won 3-1 at Mill Farm in October, in what proved to be Dave Challinor’s final game as Coasters boss.

Fylde have every incentive for revenge as victory would see them overtake the Spireites on goal difference, while still having two games in hand.

Lose, however, and Fylde could find themselves six points from safety come Saturday night.

Walker said: “Chesterfield are down the table themselves, so are we, so it’ll be a big test for us.

“It won’t be an easy place to go to obviously. They’ll have a big crowd and great support, but it’s definitely one me and the lads are looking forward to.”