AFC Fylde midfielder Andy Bond admits his first defeat since joining the club was tough to take.
The Coasters crashed out of the FA Cup at the second qualifying round stage following a 1-0 defeat at Alfreton Town on Saturday.
Bond joined Dave Challinor’s promotion chasers over the summer following his release from League Two Crawley Town and has helped the Coasters complete their first 10 games of the Vanarama National North season unbeaten.
But despite having numerous opportunities in Derbyshire, Fylde failed to score for the first time this season and Bond was disappointed that their FA Cup adventure ended at the opening hurdle.
The midfielder said: “Being beaten is something we haven’t been used to. It’s the first defeat since I’ve been here, which is tough to take, but we’ll be back in training this week and concentrating on the next game at home to Gainsborough on Saturday.
“We created a lot of chances – more than enough to win – but it just didn’t seem to want to go in. It was just one of those days.
“Will being out of the cup help us in the league in the long run? You could look at it that way but we still wanted a decent cup run. It’s nice to get as far as possible but this could help us concentrate on the league.”
The 30-year-old has been a mainstay in midfield as Fylde have won seven and drawn three of their opening 10, though the former Colchester midfielder isn’t resting on his laurels. “I’ve loved it here since day one,” added Bond.
“There’s good competition, and you’ve got to be on your toes every day and in every game.
I don’t go into training thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to play on Saturday’.
“We all want to play and we all want to win, so nobody’s place is guaranteed.”
“You’ve got to put it in during the games and obviously in training to get selected by the gaffer.
“The team has been quite settled so far and we are doing very well, so long may that continue.”
There is encouraging news on the injury front for manager Dave Challinor.
Goalkeeper Rhys Taylor and winger Brendon Daniels are both due to return to light training this week.
Alfreton’s reward to knocking Fylde out of the FA Cup is a trek to Norfolk to face King’s Lynn Town in the third qualifying round. Chorley have been drawn at Spennymoor and Stockport County are at home to Salford City.