It’s friends reunited for Fylde tie

Colin Woodthorpe
Colin Woodthorpe
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Oldfriends will be reunited in the technical area at Kellamergh Park tomorrow (Saturday).

AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor and his assistant Colin Woodthorpe will meet up with their former Stockport County team-mate Martin McIntosh, who is now the manager of Buxton.

The two clubs clash this weekend in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup.

It should be a spicy encounter as both teams are flying high in their respective divisions.

The Coasters are four points clear at the top of the Conference North, while the Buxton currently lead the way in the NPL Premier Division, which is one level below.

“It should be a good game tomorrow,” said Woodthorpe.

“Both teams are doing well at the moment in their respective leagues.

“Dave and I know their manager Martin really well.

“We played together at Stockport. He was actually my left-sided centre half when I was there.

“We’ve always kept in touch and we kind of expected to be drawn against Buxton – it’s funny how football is like that.

“It’s going to be interesting. Both teams are on a very good run of form so something’s got to give.”

Fylde will start the game as firm favourites but Woodthorpe believes his men should not feel any pressure when they take to the field.

“There is no presure on them, with us being from the higher divsion but I don’t think there is any pressure on us in terms of that competition,” he said.

“It will be nice to progress, but it’s not the be-all and 
end-all if we were to go out.

“It’s an added extra for us. We will be trying to beat Buxton and eventually try to get to the first round proper if we can but it’s not vitally important to us.”

The Coasters have pedigree in the FA Cup – they reached the first round proper two years ago and were paired with League Two outfit Accrington Stanley.

Although they performed well against their Lancashire rivals, Fylde were beaten 3-0 and many observers felt the cup run had a detrimental effect on their attempts to win promotion that season.

Woodthorpe believes there were a number of factors which contributed to Fylde’s failure to win promotion and sees no such problems should the same scenario occur this campaign.

“I think the weather was more of a problem – it was particularly bad that year,” he said.

“We had a number of games called off at home, which caused the fixtures to pile up a bit. We still reached the play-offs, which was the minimum requirement.

“That was two years ago and we are a lot stronger now than we were then. We are in a different league with fewer games to play. We have also come into the FA Cup at a later round, so I don’t see a big issue in that regard.”