AFC Fylde boss James Rowe explains ten team changes at York ahead of play-offs

Two different AFC Fylde teams collected only one point from their holiday weekend double header but it was enough to seal third place in National League North.

By Andy Moore
Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 12:30 pm

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That means a home semi-final in the play-offs a week on Sunday against Kidderminster Harriers or whichever team finishes seventh.

After seeing his side play out a goalless draw against Kettering Town at Mill Farm on side, Fylde boss James Rowe started with 10 different outfield players for their final away fixture of the regular season at York on Monday.

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Luke Joyce was among those given a start as Fylde changed all 10 outfield players at York Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

York's 2-1 win sealed their play-off spot and did no harm to Fylde because Kidderminster can no longer catch the third-placed Coasters after losing to Leamington, who visit Mill Farm for the last league game of the campaign on Saturday.

Rowe wants to return to winning ways but has no regrets about last weekend's wholesale changes. He said: “I wanted to do that because the players who have trained so hard but haven't been involved have conducted themselves so well.

“But we are trying to create a winning culture and we're never happy to lose a game. York scored their winner at the moment we were most in the ascendancy. We had just scored the equaliser an there was only going to be one winner in my mind.

“I was really proud of the players who came in. Some fundamentals were missing a little and they got on top in the first half, but second half we were in the ascendancy.

“We will go to win the game against Leamington as we did at York. I'm confident in every squad member, and we rotate it dependent on the opposition and where we think we can hurt them.

“There's always something to play for in every game, so you go to win every game and it will be no different on Saturday.”

But Fylde can be forgiven for looking ahead to the play-offs, which are looking a lot clearer with five of the six participating clubs now known and Gateshead promoted as champions.

Four teams are vying for the final play-off spot and a trip to Kidderminster next Thursday. The winners of that match visit Fylde on Sunday, May 15. Runners-up Brackley Town host the other semi a day earlier, facing the winners of Wednesday’s play-off opener between Chorley and York.