Chorley test well timed for Fylde

Stephen Crainey
Stephen Crainey

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor believes tomorrow’s home clash with Chorley (3pm) could be the perfect tonic for his stuttering side.

This season’s first back-to-back National League North defeats have dealt a blow to the Coasters’ promotion charge but Challinor remains defiant.

He said: “We have an important game coming up against Chorley, and with it being a derby game it gives us a real opportunity to get back on track.

“The top of the table is still very tight (fifth-placed Fylde are five points behind leaders Nuneaton but have three games in hand). We have slipped up recently but so have a couple of other teams, so maybe we have got away with it a little bit and we are still in a good position.

“We have an idea what we need to do this season and how many points we need to pick up.

“We can’t affect other teams do but we can put them under pressure by winning matches.

“We haven’t gone from being a good team to being a bad team based on a couple of poor spells in games.

“People are quick to jump on your back, but we know we have a very good squad that will stick together and hopefully the people around us will too.”

As for tomorrow’s opponents, Challinor said: “Chorley have found it quite tough this season and their results have been inconsistent, but they have shown that anyone can beat anyone in this league by beating Harrogate away on Monday.

“They can be a match for anyone in the division and I think that is the case for most teams in the league. Top can beat bottom and vice-versa on any given day, so you have to be right at it in every game.

“We are still disappointed after Monday’s defeat (at home to Curzon Ashton). I have watched the video and it re-emphasised what I thought at the time – we were completely in control but poor decision-making has cost us the game.

“We gave two sloppy goals away and made things really difficult for ourselves.

“The frustration was that for the last 25 minutes or so we became a bit desperate, and the harder we tried the worse it got. You need to be composed in those situations , when there is plenty of time left on the clock, and ultimately we didn’t put Curzon under enough pressure.

“Injuries continue to hamper us and any team in this league missing Tom Hannigan, Brad Barnes, Richie Baker and Matty Hughes would notice the difference. We need to get them back as soon as possible.”

Meanwhile, Fylde full-back Stephen Crainey says he is loving life with the Coasters.

The former Scotland international joined the club a month ago and made an immediate impact as Fylde won back-to-back games in his first week at the club.

The 34-year-old has plied his trade in the Premier League with Blackpool and insists he has no intention of hanging up his boots any time soon.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far,” said the former Southampton, Leeds and Fleetwood left-back. “The lads have welcomed me straight into the squad and I’m really delighted to be part of the club.

“We had two very good victories in my first couple of games but unfortunately the last two have been defeats. Hopefully we can get back on track against Chorley.

“I’m not going to lie and say it’s been easy to drop down the divisions, but I feel I have settled in well and am adjusting all the time. I just hope I can play my part at the club moving forward.

“Teams are right in your face at the level and you don’t get much time to play football.

“It’s very physical and you need to win the battle first, but I suppose that’s what it’s like at any level.

“Considering I’ve not had a pre-season. I’m quite pleased with how I’ve done so far. Once I’m fully up to speed I’m sure I can give a good contribution.

“I want to play as long as I possibly can and as long as the manager wants me here. I don’t want to put a timescale on it because I’m still really enjoying training and playing.”