Eastleigh v AFC Fylde: Coasters boss Bentley wants Trophy run to be launchpad

Jim Bentley is anxious for Fylde to reduce the gap between themselves and National League safety tonight
Jim Bentley is anxious for Fylde to reduce the gap between themselves and National League safety tonight

Jim Bentley thinks it’s vital his AFC Fylde side take the positive momentum they gained from FA Trophy victory into tonight’s National League game at Eastleigh.

READ MORE: Tough draw for Fylde in Trophy quarter-finals
Fylde ran out 4-2 winners on Saturday against Dorking Wanderers to set up a quarter final tie against Harrogate Town at Mill Farm, as they look to defend their title.

But with the tough challenge of another long trip to an unforgiving place like Eastleigh, it’s all about taking positives and doing things in the right manner.

“It’s massively important,” Bentley admitted afterwards.

“It’s a big week for us, we’ve got a win today that gives us confidence and a little bit more momentum.

“We’ve got a long trip but we’ll do everything right – the club are good in that regard, how we prepare for games.

“We did well yesterday with our preparation.

“Performance-wise today, it wasn’t us but we got the result. In the league I’d take that every day.

“It’s about getting the result and putting points on the board.

“We can’t really be too negative, I’ve been really positive in regards to how we’re doing and we’ve just come off that a little bit today, but we’ve won.

“We’ll take that into Tuesday’s game with a long trip and do everything we need to do preparation-wise and go and give it a good shot to try and get points on the board.

“That’s all we can do, we’re working hard, we’re getting behind the lads and we need them to go and produce for us like they have done today and hopefully that is the case on Tuesday night.”

Bentley didn’t want to take anything for granted against Dorking, given they play on an artificial pitch and had previous experience of causing an upset.

He said: “We’ve come to a difficult place, a passionate crowd who sense another upset.

“They did fantastically well, especially in the last round against Stockport (County), they have good players and a good set-up.

“They’re a club on the up so it was always going to be a tough game for us.”

Despite what proved to be a comfortable win at the weekend, Bentley expects better from his players.

He felt the Coasters could have been better on the day and had a few specific players in mind.

Fylde were 1-0 down after a little more than 20 minutes before getting in front – only to be pegged back to 2-2.

Nick Haughton scored the first and last goals with Jordan Williams once again finding the net, as well as Neill Byrne.

“I have to say we’re pleased with large aspects of our play in the league, we’re not getting the results I think we deserve,” Bentley said.

“I have the pleasure of being able to look back on every game and study it and I’ve seen some good stuff, not reflected in the results.

“I think today, it’s been turned on its head if I’m being perfectly honest.

“We came up against a decent side with good players but I don’t think we were as good as we can be.

“I thought it was a bit sloppy and lazy, some individuals were miles off it. We can’t be like that.

“The massive positive is we’ve won the game, we’re back to winning ways, it gives us that little bit of momentum, that shot in the arm.

“There are players that have scored today that are in decent form.

“We’ve scored four goals away from home.

“There’s loads to be pleased about, to be positive about, but if you said to me we can play like that and win every game I’d take it all day long.

“It’s about winning, we’ve got ourselves into the next round, we know we can play better.

“From today’s performance we need to up that level.

“In the league we’re doing okay but we need to get points on the board. Hopefully this is a turning point for us.”