Whilst the half century of goals scored by star striker Danny Rowe played a huge part in AFC Fylde’s promotion to the National League, perhaps the two biggest moments of the season were provided by the man who has had to play second fiddle to the League’s Player of the Year.
Long-serving striker Matt Blinkhorn picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season in the 97th minute against title-rivals Kidderminster Harriers in March – arguably the pivotal moment in the run-in.
Blinkhorn followed up with another equally important last-gasp equaliser against Bradford Park Avenue in the penultimate home game to put the Coasters in pole position for the championship.
Manager Dave Challinor named the striker’s moment of magic against Kidderminster as his ‘Champagne Moment of the Season’ and Blinkhorn, who is currently in contract negotiations with the club, was delighted to play his part in the Coasters’ glory.
Blinkhorn said: “It’s always a good feeling to score in general, but to score two goals that have been a massive part of our season was fantastic. You look at Rowey and you see the amount of goals that he’s scored and he’s been a massive success this season.
He’s got us over the line more so than my two goals against Kidderminster and Bradford, but I am made up to get an accolade for my contribution.
“It’s hard to describe the emotions after I scored against Kidderminster. It was my first goal of the season and it had been a long time coming because I’d been sitting on the bench for most of the season. To come on and score, it was very emotional. You could tell from the reaction of all the lads jumping on me as well. I was ecstatic to be fair.
“The goal against Bradford was also very important because Kidderminster could have closed the gap and probably thought that they had a chance of winning it before that goal went in. Getting that goal kept the gap at four points so psychologically, it was perhaps even bigger than the one against Kidderminster.
“It’s hard to say where that goal ranks in my career because I think if you score any goal you’re made up. When you score in semi-finals and finals, they’re amazing goals. The goals that I scored against Kidderminster and Bradford were equally as important.
“It’s a good accolade to get from the manager. The chairman spoke to me as well and he was made up with me as well so it’s a good accolade to get.”