Double trouble for AFC Fylde boss

Fylde's waterlogged pitch on Tuesday

Fylde's waterlogged pitch on Tuesday

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AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor says the torrential rain is hampering his squad’s training as well as forcing them to fall behind on fixtures.

Last night’s scheduled National League North match at home to Corby Town was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Challinor had been keen to get back into the thick of the action following Saturday’s disappointing 3-2 defeat against Worcester City.

But Kellamergh Park fell victim to the heavy rain on the Fylde coast which also put paid to Fleetwood Town’s League One clash with Walsall.

Atrocious conditions in December and January have seen a series of Fylde’s league and cup games postponed, but Challinor revealed it isn’t only the fixture schedule which is affected.

The Coasters boss said: “On the plus side this gives us a few more days to prepare for the weekend. However, it also disrupts our training schedule in a big way.

“There is nowhere around here where we can get on grass to train and all the 3G facilities are tied up.

“It means we are scrambling around last minute looking for somewhere to train.

“We have managed to get a sports hall, so we will be inside, but it’s far from ideal.

“Fortunately a lot of the lads trained on Monday morning and they were able to get the weekend out of their system in terms of muscle fatigue and tightness.”

With none of Fylde’s promotion rivals in action last night, Challinor had hoped to close the gap on the three teams above them.

And while the manager admits the postponements are frustrating, he says it’s something his side just have to get on with it.

“We wanted to play without question after the weekend’s result but we can’t do much about it now.

“Having seen the forecast there was always a danger that the game would be off.

“Had the game been scheduled for 24 hours earlier, then we would have been fine and the pitch was in great nick.

“Unfortunately the decision was made following an inspection at lunchtime.

“I didn’t leave the ground until around 4pm and there was no chance we could have got the game on, so it was the right decision.

“We are quite fortunate that we aren’t at home this Saturday, because looking at the forecast we might have struggled for that too (Fylde visit bottom club Telford this weekend).

“The weather has an impact at some point every year but it has been particularly disruptive this season.

“You get an idea of how severe it has been when you see Football League games being called off.

“The amount of rain that has come down locally has been crazy

“The pitch itself is draining really well, but there is still standing water in places because the rain isn’t able to get through the pitch quickly enough, such is the volume of water.

“I imagine that the weather will continue to have an impact on us in the near future.

“We just have to hope that we can get games rearranged quickly, so we don’t end up with a backlog of matches at the end of the season.”

Fylde had also hoped to get the Corby game out of the way before centre-half Josh Langley’s suspension kicks in following his dismissal in the Worcester game.

That three-match ban is set to begin with the FA Trophy third-round tie at Gateshead on Saturday week, meaning Langley can face Teford and Chorley in the league before then.

DANIEL AGNEW