AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor delighted to beat Harrogate Town and book a National League play-off semi-final spot but warns lessons must be learned if his side are to beat Solihull Moors

Andy Bond and Nick Haughton celebrate the second goal
Andy Bond and Nick Haughton celebrate the second goal

Dave Challinor was delighted to see his side AFC Fylde side make history and book their place in the semi-finals of the National League play-offs with a 3-1 victory over Harrogate Town.

Dave Challinor was delighted to see his side AFC Fylde side make history and book their place in the semi-finals of the National League play-offs with a 3-1 victory over Harrogate Town.

A ninth-minute goal from Ryan Croasdale and Andy Bond's 15th-minute effort gave Fylde an early cushion at Mill Farm

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 bundling the ball home in the second half as Fylde failed to defend a set-piece.

But Dan Bradley's 90th-minute effort ensured Fylde head to Solihull Moors on Saturday and are now one game away from a second Wembley trip this month as they face their first ever National League semi-final.

Challinor said: "I'm delighted. It was always going to be a nervy and tense affair.

"The game as a spectacle for the neutral probably had everything - really end-to-end, really open.

"These games are about winning, getting through by hook or by crook by any means you can. "We have done that.

"It's a quick turnaround but we have earned ourselves an opportunity at Sollihull on Saturday. Hopefully in a different game we will win again."

Challinor was full of praise for Harrogate as Fylde went one step further than last season, when they lost 2-1 at Boreham Wood in the first round of the play-offs.

That game saw Fylde concede early and Challinor says his side were keen to score early this time.

He said: "We spoke about starting the game well. Harrogate came in with a different system. We started the game well and forced them to change.

"In fairness, once they had changed we found it difficult to cope and get close to them in midfield. At 2-0 it was not that much of a concern.

"We had three good chances for the third which we do not take. Then we concede a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

"Thankfully Jay saves it and we go in at half-time trying to sort out any problems with their shape.

"But 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 we got it in injury time and we are delighted to win."

But Challinor is keen for his side to learn lessons from that game if they want to reach the Football League

He said: "We definitely have to learn from it. What you cannot do is go to Solihull on Saturday and accept that you are going to have a 90-minute bombardment.

"We have to be better in possession of the ball. I thought our experienced players needed to relax a little bit and try to get us a foothold in the game.

"We spoke about this when we played Salford: although your defending is frantic and you are putting your bodies on the line, you still need to be composed when you do that.

"I don't think we backed our ability as much as I would have liked. We just resorted to playing back to front.

"That is why we made the change with Alex Reid because at least he would give us a threat stretching them in behind. There are still things to work on.

"We know we cannot concede the type of goal we did on Sunday because that is the type of goal we will have to deal with on Saturday. I would rather learn in victory than it cost us the season."