AFC Fylde v County- Match Preview

A first -and possibly last - visit to Fylde's Kellemargh Park ground. Even if we are in the same division next season our hosts plan to leave the ground as soon as their new 6,000 capacity Mill Farm ground has been built. They have the planning permission but are on the next phase of reports and waiting for a decision on an attempt to get the application "called in" by local protesters - undoubtedly further infuriated by the Fylde website statement that "unfortunately the Council have to follow the legal and democratic process." The delays may mean they will have to spend next season at their current ground in Warton - home since 2006.
The proposed new stadium.


Before getting into the normal preview mode, AFC Fylde have a Travel Guide for County fans which is worth checking if you are making way under you own steam.


Like Tuesday's opposition Fylde have slipped down the table a little of late, having previously held top spot for 6/7 weeks from 13 September. Their run to the FA Cup first round proper has of course been part of the minor fall in the Vanarama Conference North table - as they now lie 3rd.

18 Oct H v Gainsborough Trinity Won 2-1
25 Oct A v King's Lynn Town (FAC) Won 4-3
1 Nov A v Boston United Lost 1-3
8 Nov A v Plymouth Argyle (FAC) Lost 0-2
15 Nov A v North Ferriby United Drew 1-1


The AFC Fylde side that won a point against an impressive North Ferriby United team last weekend was:

NamePosPast Clubs
Ben Hinchliffe G Preston NE, Kendal T(L), Kendal T(L), Tranmere Rov(L), Derby Co, COUNTY(TR), Oxford U, Kendal T, Bamber Bridge, Northwich Vic, AFC Fylde
Luke Denson D Colwyn Bay
Adam Sumner LB AFC Blackpool, Fleetwood T, AFC Blackpool(L), Northwich Vic(L), Kendal T(L), Northwich Vic
Josh Langley CD Wigan Ath, AFC Fylde(L)
Tom Hannigan CD Tranmere Rov, Cammell Laird, Vauxhall Motors
Bradley Barnes M Trafford, Southport, FC Halifax T(L), Droylsden, Chester, Colwyn Bay(L)
Liam Tomsett (off) M Blackpool, Altrincham(L), Ayr U(), Hyde(L), Hyde(L)
Caspar Hughes M Crewe Alex, Nantwich T
Danny McGoldrick F Lincoln C, Colwyn Bay, Tamworth
Michael Barnes (off) W Lancaster C, Manchester U, Chesterfield(L), Shrewsbury T(L), Rochdale, Lancaster C, Northwich Vic, Southport, FC Halifax T
Ritchie Allen F ex-Kirkham & Wesham, AFC Fylde, Fleetwood T, Kendal T(L), AFC Fylde(L), AFC Fylde(L), Nelson, AFC Fylde(L)
Jamie Allen (on) M/F Fleetwood T, Barrow(L)
Joe Booth (on) M Fleetwood T, Rossendale U
Tom Eckersley (sub) D Bolton W, Accrington S, COUNTY(L), Barrow(L), Tamworth, Solihull Moors(L), AFC Fylde, DR to Witton A
Michael Potts (sub) M Manchester U, Blackburn Rov, York C, Guiseley
Danny Rowe (sub) F Manchester U, Kendal T, Fleetwood T, Lincoln C

Fylde are one of the clubs with plenty of past County involvement. Ranging from their management team to the substitutes bench. Tom Eckersley joined in the summer but a long term injury delayed his appearance in the squad until recently - although he did have a spell out with Witton Albion on Dual Registration. Also on the bench last week was striker Daniel L Rowe, who had two loan spells at County from Fleetwood Town back in 2012. 
Richie Allen.

Danny has 6 goals for Fylde but clear leader in their scorers chart is Richie Allen with 12 in total - 4 of which came in the FA Cup run. This will be Richie's first chance to score a competitive goal against County.

Danny L Rowe signing for Dave Challinor......
That previously mentioned management team consists of ex-County defenders Dave Challinor and Colin Woodthorpe. Since first taking charge at Colwyn Bay in May 2010, they have an impressive record of success. 2010-11, Colwyn Bay promoted to Conference N via Play-off, 2011-12 AFC Fylde champions of NPL Div 1 North, 2012-13 NPL Prem Div play-offs, 2013-14 Promoted to Conference N via play-offs.

Ahead of County's visit Dave Challinor has responded to the team's slight slump in form by bringing in a new striker Josh Wilson on loan. Josh scored the penalty that beat County in the pre-season friendly at Vauxhall Motors in July 2011 and faced us again for his current parent club FC Halifax Town, when we beat them in last year's pre-season visit.

Late signing- Josh Wilson
The last line of defence is one of 7 ever-present players in the Fylde line-up and another man with a County past. Ben Hinchcliffe, their 26-year-old 'keeper, had a trial with County after Derby County had announced they were releasing hi. He played in a Manchester Senior Cup tie against Manchester City shortly before our League 2 Play-Off games. Ben has been with Fylde for three season and this will be the first time he has faced the club he once tried to earn a contract with.


Not only will this be the Hatters first visit to Kellemargh Park ground it also our first game against any/all of AFC Fylde, Kirkham & Wesham, Kirkham Town or Wesham FC, the current and past incarnations of the club.


Although it's been a poor month for AFC Fylde that is very much relative as hey have still won 8 out of their last 10 League games.

A welcome sight at EP on Wednesday night was the return of Scott Duxbury to action for the Development Squad. If Scott had no adverse reaction to that run-out the management team will be sorely tempted to bring him straight back into the first team to give them a more balanced defensive line. However, it might well be a risk that they will be unwilling to take given the opposition and the time it has taken to recover from the injury.

The defensive performance, and the support the midfleld gives to the back-line, is almost certain to be the key aspect of the game on Saturday. They saw what standard that needs to be maintained against promotion chasers by the relative collapse in the second half on Tuesday. With some of the away crowd verbally taking their frustration out on the keeper after Tuesday's match it might well be Alan Lord will decide to bring back Danny Hurst between the sticks - although the Hatters' followers reaction will play no part in such a decision if past evidence is anything to go by.

This really would be an ideal time to start improving on that away record - especially with Fylde's games in hand. However, I expect even the most optimistic of County fans will probably be traveling in hope of a draw rather than in expectation - whilst the more pessimistic ones amongst us will just be hoping to see a solid team performance for the full 90 minutes whatever the result.


A reminder of the other games this weekend and the portion of the table directly related to County's position come the final whistle.

Brackley Town v Bradford Park Avenue, Chorley v Hyde, Colwyn Bay v Gloucester City, Guiseley v Barrow, Harrogate Town v Worcester City, Hednesford Town v Tamworth, Leamington v Boston United, Lowestoft Town v North Ferriby United, Solihull Moors v Gainsborough Trinity, Stalybridge Celtic v Oxford City.

3 AFC Fylde 15 6 1 0 16 3 4 1 3 20 9 24 32
4 Chorley 17 6 1 1 17 5 3 3 3 13 15 10 31
5 Solihull Moors 17 3 2 2 17 11 6 1 3 21 13 14 30
6 COUNTY 17 7 0 1 21 8 2 2 5 10 16 7 29
7 Boston U 18 4 2 4 14 16 4 3 1 14 10 2 29
8 Oxford C 19 3 4 3 11 20 5 0 4 25 18 -2 28
9 Hednesford T 18 3 4 2 14 12 4 1 4 12 9 5 26

Ian Watts


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