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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

1-2
03 March 2020 Venue Mill Farm Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Vanarama National League

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Match Previews

Preview: AFC Fylde (A)

Take three at Mill Farm

2 March 2020

Back to Fylde we go this evening and hopefully the weather is kind to us and the third time’s a charm!

A pair of washouts have meant two trips to Mill Farm have ended in disappointment but, with free admission for those who purchased tickets previously, all the frustrations could be a distant memory by 10pm.

On the pitch, we’ll be looking to use the momentum of our comprehensive victory against Aveley in the Buildbase FA Trophy to return to winning ways in the league.

We only played three Vanarama National League fixtures in February, earning our one win right at the start of the month.

While we were in Trophy action at the weekend, we slipped out of the top seven but three points this evening would put us back in the play-off spots ahead of a monumental run of fixtures.

Tonight’s game is the first of six in the next 18 days as we go continue to go Saturday-Tuesday for at least the next three weeks, depending when our matches against Stockport and Harrogate are rearranged for.

Fylde are in a similar boat. Postponements and their FA Trophy run have left them a game further back than us and they’re bound to have some tired legs after an extra-time defeat to Harrogate on Saturday.

Nine points from safety, they’ll need to pick up quickly if they’re to beat the drop and they’ll be desperate to kick off their own heavy run with a win tonight.

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Neal Ardley says…

“In the league any win is massive and a chance to put points on the board is huge.

“If we go into the match against Barrow – who I regard as the best team in the league – with a win under our belts, it eases the load on that fixture.

“We’ve got to start with Fylde first and a win will be huge because it would set us off on this Saturday-Tuesday run in good spirits.”

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Fylde boss Jim Bentley says…

“When we came into the club we had seven clean sheets in our first 10 games but there have been some terrible decisions that have cost us since.

“Bar the game at Dover, the matches have been really tight but we’ve sacrificed leads and given goals away.

“That needs to change, beginning with Notts County.”

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Team news

Ardley updated on our long-term absentees when he met the media on Monday, and none of them are expected to return at Mill Farm.

Wes Thomas can, though. He’s completed his suspension and is available for selection once again.

After being cup-tied at the weekend, Cal Roberts and Pierce Bird are back in the fold, too, while Richard Brindley and Mitch Rose may return after having a rest on Saturday.

Bentley could be tempted to shuffle the pack after his players’ 120-minute exertions at the weekend.

Jordan Williams and Luke Burke got the goals for the Coasters, so they’ll hope to keep their places, but, having conceded 14 in February, defensive changes might be made.

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Elsewhere in the National League

Plenty of our play-off rivals are in action tonight meaning we could end the day anywhere between sixth and 12th.

Boreham Wood (fourth) travel to Barnet, who are 13th and have played the fewest games in the division.

FC Halifax Town, who are fifth, host Sutton, while Solihull Moors could slip out of the play-offs at Hartlepool’s expense if they win at Damson Park.

Harrogate, who we face in the Trophy semis, can go within five points of leaders Barrow if they win at Chesterfield.

The officials

Referee: Joe Hull

Assistants: Alex Clark and Matthew Sowerby

Fourth official: Oliver Nolan

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Match Reports

Fylde 1-2 Notts

Long header wins the day

3 March 2020

We returned to the Vanarama National League play-off places with a hard-fought 2-1 victory away to AFC Fylde.

It looked like we'd have to settle for a point after Jordan Williams had cancelled out Enzio Boldewijn's free-kick in the first half.

But our young loanee Adam Long played the role of hero, powering home a header late on to leave us sixth in the league.

Neal Ardley made five changes to the side that dismantled Aveley in the FA Trophy as Wes Thomas returned from suspension, joining Boldewijn, Cal Roberts, Richard Brindley and Mitch Rose in coming back into the starting XI.

Kristian Dennis took his place alongside Scott Wilson, Jim O’Brien, Tom Crawford and Pierce Bird on the substitutes’ bench.

We made a bright start to the match and Boldewijn claimed the first shot, bending an effort wide of the far post from just outside the area.

McDonnell made a simple save as the hosts issued an immediate response and, on 11 minutes, the keeper appeared to make a vital intervention to turn Tom Walker’s effort wide after the Fylde man had met a low cross at the near post.

But we soon had the lead when Dion Kelly-Evans was fouled 20 yards out, presenting Boldewijn with the chance to aim a free-kick at goal. His low effort was too much for home keeper Sam Hornby as the ball found the back of the net.

Boldewijn had eyes for a second and bobbled a 20-yard effort straight at Hornby as we looked to press home our dominance.

But Fylde had other ideas and restored parity on 18 minutes when Williams angled a low shot across goal and into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

That prompted a wave of opportunities for the hosts as Kurt Willoughby’s deflected effort flashed narrowly wide of the post before the subsequent corner had us scrambling the ball off our line.

Ryan Croasdale then dragged an effort wide before Williams turned a low cross off-target shortly afterwards.

We were struggling to regain control of the match and nearly found ourselves behind when Joe McDonnell raced into no man’s land only to lose his challenge and leave his net open. Michael Doyle got back on to the line to block the subsequent goalbound effort.

As half-time approached, Rose had an opportunity to fire us back into the lead when he received a cutback from Roberts on the edge of the area. He could only fire the ball over with his first-time effort.

We kept going and had another half-chance on 40 minutes when Wootton did well to nod Brindley’s cross back across goal towards Thomas. The forward stretched to control the ball but couldn’t quite bring it under his spell.

There were no changes at the break, despite Roberts needing treatment on his ankle in first-half injury time after being cynically brought down by Danny Philliskirk, who was booked.

After a cagey start to the second period, Willoughby struck the post with a curling effort from range.

Five minutes later, Ardley made his first change by sending O’Brien on for Roberts.

And moments after his introduction the Scot was denied a superb goal when his volley from the edge of the area was brilliantly tipped on to the crossbar by Hornby.

The game then entered another lull and Ardley saw fit to make a double substitution on 74 minutes, replacing Boldewijn and Roberts with Dennis and Wilson.

And moments later we had the lead once more as Long rose highest to meet O’Brien’s corner with a powerful header which found the net.

Luke Burke flashed a shot across goal and wide of the far post with a sweet strike shortly before the hosts were handed six added minutes in which to find an equaliser.

But in truth we looked the more likely side to score next and we nearly had a fortuitous third when Coasters sub Tyler French looped the ball off his own post as he tried to clear the ball under pressure from Dennis.

Wootton then fired an effort over the angle of post and crossbar as the clock continued to tick down.

And the referee's whistle followed shortly afterwards as we left Fylde with all three points.

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Ticket News

Tickets and travel: Fylde (A)

Free admission and buses on offer

2 March 2020

Supporters who purchased tickets for either of our postponed trips to Mill Farm are being offered full refunds and free admission to Tuesday night's rearranged match (kick-off 7.45pm).

In addition, Fylde are covering the cost of two supporters' buses. See below for more information.

The Coasters' CEO, Jonty Castle, said: We wholeheartedly accept that the supporters are not at fault for the match being postponed and we hope this offer is reflective of that.

"We look forward to welcoming everyone for the rearranged fixture on Tuesday, when we hope to finally get this game on.”

We would like to thank Fylde for this generous gesture.

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Many of our supporters who paid cash or card on the day have already been refunded.

Those who haven’t can either produce their original match ticket at Fylde's ticket office on the evening of the match or call 01772 682 593 to make the necessary arrangements.

Supporters who are eligible for a refund can also claim a free ticket (see below).

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Supporters who attended either of the postsponed matches can claim a free ticket on Tuesday by producing either their original match ticket or proof of purchase on arrival at Mill Farm.

Fylde will be operating a dedicated processing area for these transactions and are encouraging our supporters to arrive as early as possible to help them facilitate this smoothly.

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If you're not entitled to a free ticket, you can buy yours directly from AFC Fylde by clicking here or calling 01772 682 593.

You can also pay with cash or card at Fylde's club shop on matchday but advance booking is advised due to the potential for queues.

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Category Seating Terrace
Adult £18 £14
Under 16 £10 £5
Under 4 Free Free

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Disabled supporters can obtain tickets in advance from AFC Fylde by calling 01772 682 593.

Please note - tickets for disabled supporters are not available online.

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AFC Fylde are covering the cost of two supporters’ coaches for this fixture.

One of the buses will be operated by Notts County, with 30 seats reserved for those who used official coach travel for last week’s postponed match.

The reserved seats will be held until 4pm on Saturday, while all remaining places are available now on a first come, first served basis. To book your seat on this club-run bus, call 0115 955 7210 or visit the ticket office/club shop.

The second bus will be independently run by Steve ‘Acko’ Atkinson. If you’d like to book a seat with him, please email troypope@virginmedia.com.

Departure times

Club: 2.45pm outside the club shop

‘Acko’: 2.30pm outside the Trent Navigation

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Getting to the ground

Mill Farm Stadium is situated in Wesham, Lancashire, and is a 15-minute walk from Kirkham & Wesham train station.

The train station is well linked, with Blackpool and Preston both short train journeys apart.

For those coming by car, there is free on-site parking available, but limited. Once the free parking is full, the overflow carpark is available at £5 per car.

Matchday experience

The state-of-the-art Bradleys Sports Bar is the go-to spot before the game.

Food and drinks are very competitively priced, with the products sourced from quality local suppliers.

If you fancy a different setting, the fantastic new Fylde Sport and Education Centre (100 yards up the road) is perfect for a drink.

For any enquiries please call AFC Fylde on 01772 598 855 and ask for the ticket office.

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