Cards look for more success on the road
9:24am, Thu 21st Sep 2017
AFC Fylde v Woking
Vanarama National League
3pm on Saturday 23 September 2017
This Saturday the Cards make the long trip to the north-west coast for their first encounter with ambitious AFC Fylde, who were promoted last season from the Conference North. The Cards have only gained three points on the road so far, so will be keen to grab at least a point from this game.
A memorable game on Saturday saw the Cards collect another three points at home as they beat league leaders Sutton. After a rear-guard action for most of the first half with Nathan Baxter making a couple of outstanding saves to keep the visitors at bay, Wokingâ€™s speed on the break paid dividends. Two goals from Charlton loanee Regan Charles-Cook in the second half saw the Cards to another home victory and their first clean sheet of the season. Woking now have eighteen points, two off top spot and sit currently in tenth position in the league. They remain outside the play-off places on goal difference alone.
One unfortunate outcome of this local derby was the loss of full back Louis Ramsay with an ankle injury â€“ he is likely to be out of contention for a number of weeks alongside Joey Jones and Richard Orlu. However Fabio Saraiva is now back in training and should be available fairly soon.
The Coasters, who are based on the Fylde coast between Blackpool and Preston, were originally formed by the amalgamation of Kirkham Town FC and Wesham FC in 1988. Kirkham and Wesham went on to dominate the West Lancashire League Premier Division, joining the North West Counties League Division Two in the 2007/08 season, a campaign in which they won the FA Vase, beating Lowestoft Town 2-1. Both goals came from 17-year-old substitute Matt Walwyn, who was only on the field for the last 11 minutes! The club also won promotion to the North West Counties Premier Division.
At the beginning of the 2008-09 season the club changed its name to AFC Fylde (â€œThe team of the Fylde Coastâ€�) and won the Premier Division, securing promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One North. That championship was won in the 2011-12 season, with the Coasters then promoted via the play-offs in 2013-14 from the Premier Division to the Conference North. After two subsequent defeats in that leagueâ€™s play-offs they gained automatic promotion to the National League as champions last season.
At the clubâ€™s AGM in 2007 a 15 year-plan was agreed, targeting promotion to the National League in 2017 and promotion to the Football League in 2022, so the club is currently on course to realise its ambitions. At the beginning of last season the club moved to a new ground, part of an Â£18m sports village, on the outskirts of Wesham, which includes a 6,000 capacity Football League-standard stadium.
Manager Dave Challinor joined the club during the 2011-12 season, citing the attraction of managing an ambitious club as the explanation for dropping down two leagues from his then berth at Colwyn Bay.
Challinor made a number of signings in the summer in readiness for the higher league. Quite a few seemed to consist in bringing in some of the best players from other Conference North clubs. Kidderminster were raided for central defender Jordan Tunnicliffe, previously with WBA and Barnsley and capped for England C; and full back Josh Ezewele, also previously with WBA and Yeovil. Midfielder Lewis Montrose arrived from Stockport, with loads of previous League experience after starting out at Wigan and Manchester City. Simon Grand, a highly experienced central defender, who has previously played for Carlisle, Morecambe, Grimsby and Barrow, arrived from Salford, for whom he scored nine goals last season. Also joining from Salford was keeper Jay Lynch, formerly with Manchester United, Bolton and Accrington. Other arrivals were midfielder Henry Jones, a former Welsh U21 international who began his career at Swansea City and who joined the Coasters from Bangor City; Jack Muldoon, a notable capture from Lincoln City, for whom he made nearly 70 appearances in midfield in the last two seasons and who played against Burnley and Arsenal in the Impsâ€™ FA Cup run; and fellow midfielder Tom McCready, arriving after two seasons with Exeter. Other recent additions are Luke Burke, a 19-year-old full back on loan from Wigan, and Jordan Richards, another full back, arriving after a brief spell at Darlington but previously with Hartlepool. Winger Jonny Smith is on loan from Bristol City.
The Cards will need to be wary of top scorer Danny Rowe, who has notched over 120 goals since his arrival from Macclesfield in summer 2014. Midfielder David Morgan was a five-figure signing from Nuneaton Borough in March this year, whilst keeper Rhys Taylor arrived from Newport County in summer 2016. Left-back Zaine Francis-Angol joined at the same time from Kidderminster Harriers,
The Coasters have had a slightly difficult start to life in the National League, finding it hard to turn draws into wins. Their first three games brought draws against Boreham Wood at home and Chester and Ebbsfleet away before a 4-1 defeat at home to Maidenhead United, but the Coasters played much of that game with only 10 men. Following another draw, at home to Dagenham and Redbridge, the Coasters gained their first win, 2-0 away at Hartlepool United, and immediately followed it up with a second, 1-0 at home to Barrow. They lost narrowly at Halifax before drawing yet again, at home to Bromley. Last Tuesday they lost 2-1 at Macclesfield and on Saturday Fylde came from behind twice to secure a draw away at Eastleigh.
Fylde now sit in 20th position in the table, with 12 points from 11 games, having won 2, drawn 6 and lost 3.
Official website: www.afcfylde.co.uk
The Cards Trust is planning to run a coach to this game. It leaves at 8.00am and the cost is Â£29 for members, Â£34 for non-members, with U16s at Â£15/Â£17. Ring (01483 772470) or email (email@example.com) the Club Shop to book your place.
The advice on the Fylde official website reads as follows:
There are excellent links to the ground to the local and strategic highway network. Access to the site via the A585 is less than a mile from the M55 Junction 3 to the north, which leads to Blackpool to the west and Preston and the M6 to the east. To the south, the A585 Fleetwood Road forms the Kirkham and Wesham Bypass and connects with the A583 Blackpool Road, a main route between Blackpool and Preston.
Access to the site by public transport is excellent. The closest bus stop to the development is a 5-minute walk from the centre of the site. The No. 61 bus service offers a service every 30 minutes and connectivity through Blackpool â€“ Preston â€“ Kirkham.
A map of the immediate area is here: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?x=341525&y=433727&z=0&sv=pr4+3jz&st=2&pc=pr4+3jz&mapp=map.srf&searchp=ids.srf
Kirkham and Wesham Railway Station is only a half a mile away from the ground. Trains from Euston leave on the half hour and take exactly three hours, including a change at Preston. So, for example, the 10.30 arrives at Preston at 12.38, with the 13.20 from Preston getting in to Kirkham and Wesham at 13.30.
Away fans are accommodated in either the South Terrace (standing) or Section A of the West Stand (seated). Admission prices for South Terrace are: Â£13 for Adults and Â£5 for U16s. For the West Stand the prices are: Â£16 for Adults and Â£9 for U16s. Tickets can be bought online.
The Cards are at home to Hartlepool United on Saturday 30 September.
Come on, you Cards!