Fylde’s goal-hungry Baker out to turn up heat on Corby

Richie Baker

Richie Baker

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Midfielder Richie Baker is anxious to help AFC Fylde get back to winning ways tonight against a Corby side he has enjoyed much success against this season.

Baker netted both goals in the 2-1 victory at Corby Town which sent the Coasters top of Vanarama Conference North in October.

He had scored six goals by the middle of that month but Baker has found himself playing a deeper role since.

However, he is keen to add to his tally as Fylde welcome relegation-threatened Corby to Kellamergh Park (7.45pm).

They are desperate to bounce back from Saturday’s shock 3-2 defeat by Worcester, which halted Fylde’s run of four straight wins in 2016.

Victory tonight will see the Coasters close the gap on the three teams above them and Baker said: “Corby away was the last time I scored!

“Since then I seemed to have dropped further and further back in the team and I don’t really get chance to shoot as much.

“Hopefully I can get back to that because goals have always been a big part of my game. “Chally (manager Dave Challinor) has found me a new role in the team. He wants me to sit and protect the back four at bit more.

“ I do like scoring goals but I’m happy to do what is needed. I find it just as rewarding making a goal as scoring one.”

The Coasters missed a glorious opportunity to close the gap on Saturday, when table-toppers Solihull Moors suffered a humiliating 6-0 reverse at Harrogate Town.

The first-half dismissal of Josh Langley didn’t help Fylde’s cause against Worcester and Baker added: “I thought we did enough to win the game. We just conceded some really sloppy goals.

“I thought we created a lot of chances, but ultimately we shot ourselves in the foot. To get back on to level terms and then concede so late was a bit of a kick in the teeth.

“We looked like we were the only team going to go and get that winner, but now we have to pick ourselves up.”

Fylde disputed both the Worcester penalty and a Dion Charles goal which was disallowed for offside, and Baker said: “I don’t think we got what we deserved. I thought the lads did well considering.”

Manager Dave Challinor hopes to keep his first-choice cental defensive partnership together for the next three league games – Langley’s three-match ban following his red card is not due to start until the FA Trophy tie at Gateshead on Saturday week.

Challinor told The Gazette: “It’s no surprise we’ve been winning games since we’ve had Josh and Tom Hannigan back together.

“We weren’t happy with the circumstances surrounding Josh’s sending-off because the Worcester player should have had a yellow card at least.

“We’ll submit our report but we just have to get on with it, and in Brad Roscoe and Dom Collins we have players who can come in and do a job for us. We didn’t get what we deserved on Saturday and we have to use that as motivation against Corby.”

Challinor hopes the game goes ahead, with bad weather forecast. “There’s a strom due to hit from the Atlantic,” he said, “but you never know around here. You can have no rain in one place and be underwater a mile away.”

The Gazette understands Fylde made an unsuccessful attempt to sign Chorley midfielder Jake Cottrell, who has commited himself to the Coasters’ Lancashire rivals for the rest of the season.