Danny Rowe’s 16th goal of the season may not have been the matchwinner AFC Fylde had hoped for at Wigan but manager Dave Challinor believes it could still be an important stepping-stone in the hotshot striker’s season.
The 27-year-old’s second-half strike gave the Coasters a 2-1 lead in their FA Cup second round replay at the DW Stadium, though his fellow striker Will Grigg turned the tables with two goals in the final 10 minutes.
But Challinor believes a goal at the home of a former Premier League club can only give Rowe a massive boost going into the packed festive fixture list.
The Fylde boss said: “For Danny to get a goal is great and really fitting considering how he has performed for us in the last three seasons.
“To score in such an environment would do anyone the world of good. I’m just disappointed it wasn’t a winner.”
Challinor hailed the 512 Fylde fans who defied bad weather and traffic chaos to support their team at the DW, and also thanked the Latics supporters for the respect they showed by applauding his side off at the final whistle.
He said: “I think these types of occasion build our profile.
“We know where we are in terms of our own fan base. They have been magnificent since we moved to Mill Farm and to bring so many to Wigan is great.
“And we really appreciated the Wigan fans staying to clap us off at the end. It shows we have earned a little bit more respect along the way.
“Our fans were magnificent and fingers crossed we can start taking those numbers to more away games.
“We have a hardcore following that has gone from 10s and 20s, to 50s and 100s.
“Now to have over 500 is amazing and long may it continue.”
n Manchester City claimed a record-breaking 15th Premier League win in a row with a 4-0 victory at Swansea.
Two goals from David Silva, plus strikes from Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero saw Pep Guardiola’s men maintain their 11-point lead.