FA Trophy final gives AFC Fylde the chance to spoil Leyton Orient’s promotion party

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor

Dave Challinor has called on his AFC Fylde side to spoil Leyton Orient’s Wembley party in the final of the FA Trophy this weekend.

The Coasters take on an Orient side who have already claimed one piece of silverware this season in the form of the National League title.

Their fans will descend on the national stadium in their droves aiming to make it a league and cup double, but Challinor insists his team have other plans.

“The atmosphere will be great,” the Fylde boss said. “It will be brilliant for Leyton Orient because it will be a party to celebrate the fact they’re champions.

“We’ve got to try and poo-poo that party if you like and there will be nothing better for us than to go there and spoil that.

“It would have been the ultimate for both teams to have gone there having already been promoted, but that’s not been the case for us.

“But it’s important we do everything we can to try and bounce back after last week’s disappointment. If we can, brilliant, but if we don’t it’s not the end of the world.

“It’s not the be all and end all but it’s an opportunity we’re hoping to take.”

Fylde will be looking for an improved display from last weekend’s disappointing 3-0 defeat to Salford City in the play-off final.

That loss means the Coasters will spend another season in the National League and the club’s dream of making it to the Football League will have to be put on hold for another year.

But Challinor believes that failure can be harnessed in the right way against Orient on Sunday, which would be the ideal way to end the campaign.

“It’s important to use disappointment as motivation,” Challinor said.

“After the game last week we made it as light as possible, we tried to make sure it was not a dour bus trip home.

“The lads quite rightly had a few drinks and we tried to put some music on to get the atmosphere going, which I think was important.

“They came back to the club to enjoy their evening which was the right thing to do because I think the players have earned that.

“The worst thing you can do is sit and be sad and unhappy, because we can’t affect it. But you can learn from it and move on.

“We’ve got no better way to move on than another trip to Wembley where hopefully we can right the wrongs of last weekend.

“Although that defeat won’t be forgotten about, it might go a little deeper in the memory banks.”