Fylde’s Finley faces double-whammy

Sam Finley
Sam Finley
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AFC Fylde midfielder Sam Finley faces the double-whammy of a suspension and a club fine after his sending-off in Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat at Lowestoft.

Finley was sent off for dissent after the Trawler Boys were awarded a penalty, and as this was his second red card of the season his ban could four matches.

And Fylde manager Dave Challinor, whose side visit Stalybridge Celtic in Vanarama National North tomorrow, has indicated that the club will take their own disciplinary action against the player.

Challinor told The Gazette: “Sam should know better. The club will suffer; the team will suffer and you just can’t do that kind of thing.

“He still has not learned – maybe that is one of the reasons why bigger clubs have decided against coming in for him.

“We could now lose him for three matches or maybe four depending on what is said in the referee’s report and the fact that he has been sent off already.”

Finley’s suspension does not kick in for another 11 days and he is available for the Stalybridge match and the following Saturday’s home clash with Alfreton.

Defender Josh Langley has completed his three-match ban and will return to the squad for tomorrow’s game.

Full-back Caspar Hughes was a late cry-off for the Lowestoft match with a groin injury. He will have a fitness test prior to the Stalybridge trip.

Stalybridge were also in midweek action and lost at home to Fylde’s promotion rivals Harrogate, who moved to second place as a result of their 1-0 win.

Stalybridge are just below mid-table in the standings, looking as though they are well clear of any relegation trouble but too far adrift to get into the play-off picture.

The Coasters need to bounce back after Tuesday’s fruitless 600-mile round trip.

They no longer have a game in hand on leaders Solihull Moors, who are still seven points better off than the fourth-placed Coasters.

Challinor reflected on Tuesday’s defeat, Fylde’s third in four games in league and cup: “In my opinion, the penalty that was awarded against us was not a penalty but that is by the by.

“We have killed ourselves with the other two goals that we conceded.”

Who would be a football manager ... or his assistant for that matter?

Challinor and his number two Colin Woodthorpe did not just prepare the team and coach from the sidelines for the Lowestof match – they shared the driving of the team bus to and from Suffolk.

The overnight drive from the east coast meant they only got back to the Fylde coast shortly before sunrise.

Challinor managed only two hours’ shut-eye before overseeing academy trials at Blackpool and The Fylde College.