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Match Preview: AFC Fylde (A)

Andrew’s Match Preview

AFC Fylde v Colne

FA Trophy 2nd round

Mill Farm

Saturday 19th November - 15:00

If still a draw after 90 minutes, the match will be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

A Lancashire derby beckons, as Colne travel 42 miles to Wesham, to take on AFC Fylde in the 2nd round of the FA Trophy.

AFC Fylde, nicknamed the Coasters, play their home games at Mill Farm, which has a capacity of 6000, and their average home attendance this season, is 908 . The Coasters play in the National League North - step 2 - where last season they finished in 3rd place, but were knocked out of the play offs at the semi-final stage by Boston United, 0-2 at home. Fylde won the FA Trophy in 2019, beating Leyton Orient 1-0 at Wembley Stadium. This will be the first time the two clubs have met, and Colne are one of only seven step 4 clubs still in the competition.

This season, the Coasters have won 8, drawn 3 and lost 4 and they currently occupy 8th place with 27 points from 15 games. Their wins have mostly come at home - Kettering Town 2-1, Southport 1-0, Telford United 3-1, Bradford Park Avenue 3-1 and Peterborough Sports 1-0. Away victories have come at Farsley Celtic 2-1, Chester 1-0 and Darlington 2-1. Fylde have had a decent FA Cup run beating Farsley Celtic 3-0 away in a replay, Congleton Town 5-1 at home in another replay, Kidderminster Harriers 2-0 at home again in a replay, before losing on Tuesday evening away to Gillingham 0-1 in yet another replay (highlights available on YouTube), after holding the EFL league 2 club to a 1-1 draw at home. This will be AFC Fylde’s first game in the FA Trophy this term.

AFC Fylde players to watch - Midfielder Tom Walker came through Bolton Wanderers’ academy and played for them in the Championship when he was just 19. He also played for Bury in league 1 and Salford City and Harrogate Town in league 2. Tom was on loan at Fylde last season from Stockport County and joined permanently this term. Danny Rowe is in his second spell at the club and is Fylde’s all time leading goal scorer. He has EFL experience representing Oldham Athletic and Bradford City in league 2, and he has been playing for Chesterfield in the National season for the last two years, before returning to AFC Fylde. 24 year old striker Luke Charmen spent 8 years at Newcastle United without turning out for the first team. He has spent the last few seasons at Darlington and Rochdale. Last season’s top goal scorer Nick Haughton is a creative midfielder and fans favourite. He has had league 1 experience with Fleetwood Town and joined the Coasters from Salford City 4 years ago. Danny Phililskirk was on Chelsea’s books as a youth, and represented England at under 17 level. The 31 year old box to box midfielder spent the majority of his career at Oldham Athletic and Blackpool in league 1, and he has been at Mill Farm since 2018. Defender Luke Conlan represented Northern Ireland all the way from under 16 to under 21 level and came through Burnley’s academy. He’s spent 5 seasons at Morecambe in league 2 before signing for Fylde in 2020. Another product of Burnley’s youth system is skipper Alex Whitmore. A tall dominant central defender, Alex has league 1 experience at Bury and league 2 experience at Morecambe, Chesterfield and Grimsby, before joining the Coasters 3 years ago. Another Northern Irish under 21 representative is 23 year old central defender Pierce Bird. Pierce played for Notts County in league 1 and 2, and has spent much of his career on loan in the National league turning out for Eastleigh, Kings Lynn Town and Halifax before signing for Fylde this season. Midfielder Will Hatfield came though Leeds United’s youth system and played for Accrington Stanley in league 2 for 4 seasons. He has also had spells at Guiseley and Darlington before joining Fylde in March. 37 year old goalkeeper Chris Neal began his career at Preston North End. Before joining Fylde 2 years ago, Chris has played in league 1 with Port Vale, Doncaster Rovers, Bury and Fleetwood Town, and in league 2 with Shrewsbury Town and Salford City. On Monday, former Derby County and Premier league player Adam Murray was unveiled as the Coasters’ new manager. Adam has had previous spells as manager at Mansfield Town and Boston United, and 2 caretaker manager roles at Barnsley.

Last time out for the Reds - Following the disappointing draw at bottom of the table Ramsbottom United on Saturday, Colne boss Phil Brown made two team changes for the Tuesday night trip to Newcastle Town. Skipper Paul Dugdale was rested, and replaced by Tom Fagan who took the armband, and Lucas Weaver was rewarded with a return to the first eleven at the expense of Owen Watkinson. Fagan took up his favoured right side position in defence and Tom Hoyle moved over to the left. Colne knocked the ball around well in the opening period despite the slippy conditions, and a couple of half chances fell to Enock Lusiama, who couldn’t convert. The home side thought they’d taken the lead on the hour mark, when a corner not dealt with by Andre Mendes in the Colne goal was headed home. The referee however, saw something no one else did, and the goal was chalked off for a foul. Seven minutes from the break, Lusiama was played through by Oli Roberts, and although his shot beat the keeper, it came back off the post, ensuring a stalemate at half-time. The second half turned into the Luke Stowe show, due to his runs deep into the opposition’s half, one of which saw him blatantly tripped in the Town penalty area when in full flow. Everybody on the pitch, and in the ground looked at the ref, who waved the appeals away to everyone’s disbelief. The Reds didn’t have to wait long though for their reward, because on 54 minutes, another penetrating foray by young Stowe, found Lucas Weaver in space, and he turned and fired Colne into the lead. Young Wev had a couple of other chances created by his own pace, but was denied by the conditions and the Castle defence’s physicality. The hosts took control in the last 15 minutes pressing for an equaliser, but the Reds’ defence held firm and Colne hung on for their second away league win of the season, and the three points moves them out of the bottom 4 into 16th place with 16 points from 14 games. Luke Stowe’s confident wing play was enough to gain him the man of the match, in a solid display from the Reds.

Who’s on Ashh’s couch? - Harry Winstanley is back to full training this week, and hopes to be back involved for the visit to AFC Fylde, although that may come a little early.

McDaniel “Danny” Kyobe is recovering from a fractured collar bone and he should be back in non contact training next Tuesday.

Aaron Turner is waiting to see a specialist concerning his meniscus knee issue.

Jack Doherty is still awaiting surgery for his ACL injury, that will rule him out for the season.

Hakan Burton is keeping fit whilst nursing his shoulder injury, and he is well ahead with his rehabilitation, which may well see him return sooner than first thought.

Team news - No known injuries to report from Saturday or Tuesday’s games, so Phil Brown may well have 7 substitutes on the bench if he wishes. The returning Harry Winstanley and young keeper Oliver Lombard could be the ones to complement Tuesday’s squad. Decisions will have to be made on who starts up front, with Lusiama, Weaver and Watkinson in the mix for the front two, and at the back, where a return for skipper Paul Dugdale is an option.

AFC Fylde will no doubt be looking to make a statement in this competition, especially after being knocked out of the FA Cup mid-week. The Coasters have played 11 times at Mill Farm this season in league and cup, and have lost just once to third place Scarborough Athletic. Although they are currently sat just outside the play-off places, due to their FA Cup exploits they do have 3 or 4 games in hand on their promotion rivals, in a strong National North league, two steps above the NPL West. The Fylde squad is clearly of a high standard, and they have EFL experience in every area of the pitch. The first eleven and the fringe players will also be out to impress the new manager, who only took up his post on Monday, and he in turn, will be assessing his players for the first time. Obviously this all points to it being a very difficult afternoon for the Reds, and clearly they will be long odds to produce an upset. But, it won’t be the first time this season that Phil Brown’s side have not read the script, especially in this competition, where top of the next league up, Hyde United, were beaten 3-2 on their own turf, and last seasons NPL West Champions Warrington Rylands, were smashed 5-0 at Holt House. The Reds are also in confident form; unbeaten in their last 5 and lost just twice in 9 league and cup games on the road. Colne will also be very well supported, by the biggest travelling Red Army for years, who will no doubt be extremely vocal and encouraging for the full 90 minutes, and beyond if necessary. A big occasion, to be enjoyed and savoured by both players and fans alike, and the Reds will be giving it everything to keep the Wembley dream, very much alive.

Admission Prices are:

Adults : £14 - seating, £10 - standing

Under 16s : £7 - seating, £4 - standing

Under 12's: Free

AFC Fylde Football Club

Mill Farm Sports Village

Coronation Way



Upcoming games

Sat 26th November - Leek Town v Colne - 15:00 NPL West

Sat 3 November - Colne v Macclesfield - 13:00 NPL West

Sat 10th December - 1874 Northwich v Colne - 15:00 NPL West

Today’s FA Trophy games involving NPL West clubs - 15:00

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Spennymoor Town v Runcorn Linnets

Today’s NPL West games - 15:00

1874 Northwich v Widnes

City of Liverpool v Witton Albion

Glossop North End v Bootle

Hanley Town v Prescot Cables

Kidsgrove Athletic V Clitheroe

Macclesfield v Mossley

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