Dave Challinor calls on AFC Fylde players to set up a second trip to Wembley

Dave Challinor says his AFC Fylde players must be motivated by the potential of sealing a second trip to Wembley.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 2:00 pm
Andy Bond celebrates his goal against Harrogate Town on Wednesday night Picture: Steve McLellan

The Coasters came through their play-off first round encounter with Harrogate Town on Wednesday, setting up a semi-final at Solihull Moors on Saturday.

Should Challinor’s men win that tie, it will send the club into the Wembley showpiece final – a week before they are due to travel down to the national stadium for the FA Trophy final against Leyton Orient.

“It’s an opportunity to get ourselves back to Wembley for the second time this season, which is something that is really, really motivating,” Challinor said.

“Solihull are very effective and deservedly finished second in the league where they pushed the winners really close.

“I was a little bit disappointed against Harrogate with our ability to potentially control the game with our possession. I don’t think we were brave enough and we were hitting the front two too quickly, too often.

“But we’re going to have to be brave on Saturday in terms of putting our bodies on the line, heading the ball away and dealing with set pieces.

“We’ve also got to be brave in possession and control the game how we want to control it, which means we’re going to have to work hard and our passes are going to have to be accurate.

“You can’t sit and withstand a 90-minute bombardment because chances are something will eventually drop for them.

“So we’ve got to go there and cause our own problems for them and have our own threats, which I’m sure we will do.”

While Tim Flowers’ Solihull finished second in the National League during the regular season, just three points off champions Leyton Orient, Fylde secured wins both home and away against the West Midlands outfit.

The Coasters saw them off 3-1 at home back in August before grinding out an impressive 2-1 win at Damson Park at the turn of the year.

“That should give our boys confidence but I’m sure they will be buoyed by the fact statistics say they are the second best team in the league,” Challinor added.

“Because of that they will be favourites to progress but we know we are going to go there and give it everything we’ve got, as both sides will.

“Whoever wins on the day will deserve to go to Wembley with a chance of making themselves a Football League club.”

Fylde booked their place in the semi-finals with a 3-1 win at Mill Farm against Simon Weaver’s Harrogate.

A ninth-minute goal from Ryan Croasdale and Andy Bond’s 15th-minute effort gave Fylde an early cushion.

Jay Lynch managed to save Jack Muldoon’s penalty after he was ruled to have felled Jordan Thewlis just before the break, but Lynch could not stop Thewlis from bundling home in the second half.

However, Dan Bradley’s 90th-minute effort ensured Fylde head to Solihull and leaves them now one game away from a second Wembley trip this month as they face their first National League semi-final.

“I feel for Harrogate,” Challinor said.

“We’ve been in that position before where we played our part last season in what was a great game only to come out on the wrong end of a result, and they’ve done the same.

“Second half I thought they were fantastic, they really put us under pressure.

“They got themselves back into the game and I would have been much happier if we had got that third one earlier.

“But from our perspective we’re delighted to progress.”

Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 12.30pm and is on BT Sport.