AFC Fylde boss Jim Bentley blessed with options up front for trip to Kettering but Ben Tollitt ban rankles

Jim Bentley takes his unbeaten AFC Fylde side to Kettering Town tomorrow with healthy competition up front but fewer options out wide.

Friday, 3rd September 2021, 8:00 am

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AFC Fylde 'men of steel' boost boss Jim Bentley after victory over Southport

Having lost Nathan Shaw to an ankle injury, the Coasters will be without fellow winger Ben Tollitt for three games following his red card against Southport on Monday.

Bentley saw his side defy their numerical disadvantage to record a fourth straight victory in National League North but Tollitt’s dismissal and ban angered the Fylde manager, who says the club are considering an appeal.

Fylde boss Jim Bentley praised the performance of Jack Sampson against Southport

“It’s not even a foul in my opinion and if that’s a sending-off we may as well pack up,” he told The Gazette.

“It’s the sort of thing that makes you fall out of love with the game. We had two competitive sides and you want to see 11 v 11. It hasn’t half left a sour taste.

“Ben is an honest lad who isn’t known for crunching tackles. He’s committed and got to the ball first.”

On a more positive note, Bentley is delighted with his options up front after Stephen Dobbie and Joe Piggott both scored for the second successive game to seal the comeback win over Southport.

Fylde also welcomed frontman Jack Sampson back after injury and were able to give five-goal Nick Haughton some rest time on the bench.

Bentley added: “Joe has scored with two identical finishes, he’s going well for us and has fitted in well. Stephen is two in two as well and Jack was outstanding on his return.

“He won every header, made good decisions and defended well when it was needed.

“We know we have goals in the team and we are not relying on one player to score them.”

Tomorrow Fylde visit a Kettering Town side fresh from Monday’s win at Gloucester City, who topped the table when last season was terminated but havewon only one of their opening four in this campaign.

Bentley said: That was a good win at Gloucester, which is a tough place to go with an artificial pitch.

“We will pay Kettering the respect they deserve and we know it will be a tough game. But like Southport on Monday and every other game, you have to find a way to win.”

Squires Gate are in FA Cup action tomorrow and welcome North Shields FC to their Brian Addison Stadium in the first qualifying round.

Gate have scored nine goals in their last two games and are fresh from their first North West Counties League win of the season against Litherland REMYCA. Their visitors from Tyneside are fourth in Northern League division one.

AFC Blackpool steal a march on their fellow NWCFL First Division North clubs by visiting second-bottom Campion tonight, knowing that victory in Bradford will lift them back into top spot.

Blackpool had to settle for a 1-1 home draw with Garstang on holiday Monday despite taking the lead inside 30 seconds.

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