AFC Fylde players had to battle for their Kettering Town point

Jim Bentley said Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Kettering Town was a match where his AFC Fylde players had to show their battling qualities.

Monday, 6th September 2021, 8:00 am

The Coasters had made the trip, looking to make it five wins from five in National League North this season.

Despite taking the lead through Nick Haughton, they were pegged back by Callum Powell’s penalty and also saw the home side hit the woodwork three times.

Speaking afterwards, Bentley admitted: “It’s difficult here, it’s not the best surroundings and it was quite an eye-opener when we got here.

Ben Tollitt was available for AFC Fylde at the weekend Picture: Steve McLellan

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“The pitch isn’t great, it’s a bit up and down, it’s dry, it’s bobbly.

“We want to get it down. We’ve played some good football recently but today was one of those games where we’ve got to stand up and be counted, and put your head on loads of balls into the box.

“They have a certain way of playing and credit to them, that’s their way and that’s the way they want to play and cause teams problems.

“They have a youthful, enthusiastic side with a bit of pace, so balls are put into the channels and everything’s hunted down.”

The Coasters were also boosted by the availability of Ben Tollitt at the weekend.

The winger had been sent off for a challenge during the first half of the Bank Holiday Monday win against Southport.

However, following an appeal process and a review by an independent regulatory commission at the Football Association, the card and subsequent suspension were rescinded.

Bentley said: “Ben is a big player for us and we as a football club are really pleased that his red card has been overturned.

“At the time, I didn’t think the tackle was a red card, and having viewed the incident many times since, I don’t even think it was a foul as it was an honest attempt by Ben to win the ball.

“The footage validated our initial opinion in that Ben clearly won the ball before there was contact with the Southport player.

“Thankfully for us we still went on to win the game and now that the panel have reviewed the tackle, we feel the outcome is a fair decision for Ben and the football club.”

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