Aldershot Town v AFC Fylde Match Preview – Saturday 30th March 2019
Live on BT Sport – 12:35PM KICK OFF
The Shots surivival hopes were dealt a hammer-blow on Tuesday night in a 2-0 defeat away to Barnet. But with the BT Sport cameras in town, the boys in red and blue will be hoping to make a swift recovery against promotion-chasing and FA Trophy finalists AFC Fylde. Chris Woods previews the action…
Match Sponsor: Scott2Go
Ball Sponsor: Virtual Learning UK
Shots boss Gary Waddock has a near full-strength squad available at his disposal. George Fowler remains a long-term injury, Lewis Kinsella nears his comeback from a knee injury after some recovery work at St George’s this week, Jake Cole is out with a hamstring injury sustained in the warm-up at Boreham Wood last week and James Rowe is close to a return from a nasty foot injury he picked up at home and has kept him out since September when the Shots lost 3-0 at Saturday’s opponents AFC Fylde.
Name: AFC Fylde
Nickname: The Coasters
Manager: Dave Challinor
Stadium: Mill Farm
2017/18 National League position: 7th
2018/19 current National League position: 5th
AFC Fylde were founded in 1988, as Kirkham & Wesham following the amalgamation of Kirkham Town and Wesham taking Kirkham Town’s place in the West Lancashire League. They won the FA Vase in 2008 and then changed their name to AFC Fylde. They play at Mill Farm (Wesham), are nicknamed The Coasters and finished 7th in their first season at National League level last term and look set to improve on that this time round as they currently sit in 5th place and have an FA Trophy final against Leyton Orient to look forward to in May.
Former Tranmere Rovers, Stockport County and Bury defender Dave Challinor is in charge of The Coasters. Challinor ended his playing career and started his managerial experience at Colwyn Bay, whom he guided to Runners-Up spot in the Northern Premier League in his first season at the helm, eventually gaining promotion to what was the Conference North via the Play-Offs. In November 2011, he was announced as the new manager of AFC Fylde, who at that time, played in the Northern Premier League Division 1 North. His impact was instant, gaining promotion (as Champions) in his first season and then guiding The Coasters to NPL Play-Offs the following season. They lost on that occasion, but gained promotion to the Conference North twelve months later.
Following another promotion in 2016-17, Fylde went on to finish seventh in their first season at Non-League’s ‘top-table’.
A total of seventeen players left Mill Farm over the summer – including loanees. The most notable departures included; Jake Lawlor & Simon Grand (to Salford), Sam Finley (to Accrington) and Jack Muldoon (to Harrogate). Coasters boss Dave Challinor has been active in the loan market this season and has seen Jim Kellermann, Danny Kane, Danny Williams and Arthur Gnahoua all come and go back to their parent clubs during the season.
Eleven players stayed – including the prolific Danny Rowe and eleven new faces arrived at Mill Farm. Key signing included; Neil Byrne (from Gateshead), Ryan Croasdale (from Kidderminster Harriers) and Ashley Hemmings who has since joined Altrincham on loan. Danny Philliskirk has been a key influence in the number 10 role after signing from EFL neighbours Blackpool and Neill Byrne has in defence following his arrival from Gateshead in the summer.
Fylde’s threat comes in their forward line through Danny Rowe. He has scored 147 league goals for the Coasters in five seasons, he’s already beaten his tally of 24 that he reached last season and amassed a whopping 48 goals in Fylde’s 2016/17 promotion season from the National League North. He’s netted 30 goals this campaign in all competitions as his goals have kept Fylde in the play-off places throughout the season and also guided them to a spot at Wembley Stadium for the FA Trophy final in May. Shots fans will be all too familiar with Rowe’s presence as he netted four times against the club last season, including a hat-trick in the 7-1 collapse up at Mill Farm.
Saturday’s referee is Andrew Miller. This is Miller’s third season as a National League referee and his first National League game he officiated was the Shots opening day defeat to Barrow back in the 2016/17 season. He refereed three more Shots games the following season including the 7-1 defeat to AFC Fylde last season, he’s refereed just one Aldershot game this season which was our 1-0 home win over Braintree Town back in November. He’s refereed 17 games this season issuing 49 yellow cards and 2 red cards.
BBC Surrey Sport’s Rob Worrall and Shots left-back Lewis Kinsella will be covering the game live on Saturday lunchtime. Tune in to the BBC Sport website (or the BBC Sport App) from 12:25pm for full match commentary. To interact with them, tweet @RobShot66.