Magpies match is no coast for Fylde

Chorley midfielder Harry Winter is set to face his former club tomorrow
Chorley midfielder Harry Winter is set to face his former club tomorrow
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Beware of Chorley on the charge – that is the message to his players from AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor.

The Coasters welcome the Magpies to Kellamergh Park for a mouthwatering Conference North derby contest tomorrow.

It will be the first time the two clubs have clashed since they both won promotion together from the NPL Premier Division last season.

Last year it was Chorley who went up as champions, while Fylde achieved success via the play-offs after finishing in third spot.

This season has seen something of a role reversal, with Fylde riding high at the top of the table – two points clear of second-placed Barrow with two games in hand.

Chorley, on the other hand, have fallen 17 points behind the Coasters but are still in a very strong position to make the play-offs.

Challinor, though, believes Garry Flitcroft’s men – who are currently in sixth position but have a number of games in hand on all the teams above them in the table – will not have given up on top spot and securing the only automatic promotion slot available.

“Chorley do have games in hand but that in itself can have implications, especially if you have a lot of games in a short space of time,” Challinor said.

“They will obviously look at the two games against us this season as vital to them.

“There’s still a long way to go. We have achieved nothing yet this season.

“We have had success in the cup competitions, in terms of having good runs in the FA Cup and the FA Trophy and we are in a good position in the league.

“But it’s only the end of January – we’ve got three big months left. There are 17 games remaining and we will be looking to continue our good form.”

Fylde have won their last eight league matches but Challinor expects that fine record will not have much bearing on tomorrow’s match.

They will be coming up against a number of familiar faces in the shape of James Dean, Harry Winter and Jack Dorney, who are former Coasters’ players.

And a large away following will swell the attendance at Kellamergh Park and give the game a cup tie flavour.

“A lot is made of the rivalry between the two clubs,” Challinor said.

“The players all know each other and lot of the players have played for both clubs.

“We both know what each other is all about – I don’t think there will be too many surprises tomorrow.

“We are looking forward to it. They are our closest neighbours in this division.

“It’s two clubs who have progressed through the leagues at similar rates over the past few years.

“We both got promoted last season and it should be a good game played in a great atmosphere.”

Chorley collected six points from the two fixtures last season, although AFC Fylde gained some revenge by beating their fierce rivals in the final of the Lancashire FA Trophy 4-1 at the Reebok Stadium.

He added: “Certainly, the game at home against Chorley early last season when we lost 1-0 was result we did not deserve – we deserved to win.

“The 3-1 defeat away from home was when we had that bad run but it was to be our last defeat – we did not lose in our next 26 games.”

Fylde, who went out of the FA Trophy against FC United last Saturday, are expected to be at full strength tomorrow.