AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor hopes to extend their unbeaten record at Hartlepool United

Danny Rowe scored again on Saturday      Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Rowe scored again on Saturday Picture: Steve McLellan

AFC Fylde aim to extend their unbeaten start to the National League this season to four games when they make the trip to Hartlepool United tonight (7.45pm).

The Coasters’ 1-0 victory at home to Ebbsfleet United on Saturday left Dave Challinor’s men fourth in the table and among three clubs with seven points out of nine.

Fylde now travel to Victoria Park to take on a Hartlepool side who recorded their first win at Maidenhead on Saturday after two defeats.

Challinor said of tonight’s opponents: “It’s a big club for this level, a great place to go and I’m sure it’ll be a great atmosphere.

“It’s our next opportunity to get three points. We won our last away game (at Aldershot on the opening day) and we’ll be looking to do the same here.

“If we can’t win, then we’ve got to make sure we don’t lose because we want to keep this unbeaten run going as long as we can.

“It was important we started the season well and we’ve done that.

“We’ll play better than we did against Ebbsfleet without question but that’s a massive positive because we’ve still got the three points.

“We’ve got a really good squad and I’m really happy with where we’re at. Hopefully Tuesday night will be the next one we tick off.”

Fylde’s impressive early form has been built on strong foundations at the back, conceding just one goal from their opening three fixtures.

Keeping their second successive clean sheet at Mill Farm on Saturday was especially significant given the horrendous weather.

Challinor added: “In these conditions it’s hard attacking but it’s horrible defending.

“I’ve been there myself and you can be made to look silly at times, with the strength of the wind and the rain coming down.

“But what you’ve got to do is minimise mistakes. And if you do make them, you must make sure you’re in control of where you make them.

“We talk openly about wanting to play out from the goalkeeper but this game wasn’t the place to do that.

“Two clean sheets from our opening three games is a great return.

“Alex Whitmore was fantastic and Neill Byrne has come back despite coming off injured on Tuesday.

“The back four have settled really well and the clean sheets will help breed confidence, so hopefully we can continue that on Tuesday.”

Challinor has been delighted with the early form of new goalkeeper James Montgomery, who has replaced Jay Lynch between the sticks this season.

“We had a good defensive record last season, so he’s coming into a strong back four, even though it’s changed a little bit over the summer,” the Fylde boss said.

“He probably deserved a clean sheet at Aldershot. It was pretty comfortable against Chorley last Tuesday and he made some good saves when called upon against Ebbsfleet.

“He’s more than capable of doing that because he’s a fantastic keeper and will be really important to us over the course of the season.”