AFC Fylde boss bids to scupper the Fleet

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor

It will be a case of two of a kind tomorrow when Vanarama National League new boys Fylde and Ebbsfleet meet in Kent.

Both sides were promoted last season, home side Ebbsfleet going up via the play-off route after coming from behind in the National League South decider against Chelmsford City.

AFC Fylde have started the season in encouraging enough style, with draws against Boreham Wood and Chester, while Ebbsfleet are in third place after a win over Maidstone United and a draw with Guiseley.

Fylde manager Dave Challinor has been sufficiently encouraged as the Coasters set about consolidating their position in uncharted waters.

He said: “We are finding our feet a little bit and, like Ebbsfleet, it is a case of getting used to this level.

“Looking at the results at the start of the season, most games in the division have been really tight.

“We have drawn both matches and certainly did not deserve to lose either of them.

“We probably played better in the Chester match on Tuesday than we did against Boreham Wood. I have been pleased with how it has gone so far, but it is a question of adapting and getting used to a different style of play.

“For instance, Boreham Wood had one way of playing and Chester had a different approach. It is something that we will need to address.

“That is especially the case because we have a lot of new players who are starting to get used to each other.”

The trip to the South East will be the first of several long-haul journeys for the Coasters in their debut season in the top flight of non-league – their first ever in a division which is not regionalised.

Challinor said: “It is a good thing that we have a long trip away so early in the season.

“We have a number of new players in the squad and being away will help with bonding and help the players to get to know each other.

“Hopefully, we will do that and come home with our first three points of the season.”

Fylde report no injury issues for tomorrow’s clash against an Ebbsfleet side, whose ranks include midfielder Jack Payne, who made 32 League Two appearances for Blackpool last season and whose departure from Bloomfield Road on a free raised some eyebrows.