AFC Fylde vs Rochdale
Saturday 15th July, 2017, k/o 3pm
AFC Fylde host League One side Rochdale in the first home friendly ahead of the 2017-18 National League campaign.
The Coasters got pre-season off to the perfect start with a 5-0 victory over Evo-Stik Premier League side Marine on Tuesday night, but expect a much tougher test on Saturday against Football League opponents.
Six of Dave Challinor’s seven summer acquisitions made their first appearances in Liverpool earlier in the week, with just goalkeeper Jay Lynch missing out with a shoulder injury. The National League North Goalkeeper of the Year is expected to play some part this weekend.
Full-backs Zaine Francis-Angol and Josh Ezewele impressed at Marine bombing down the flanks, whilst striker Jack Muldoon, signed from National League champions a week ago, was a real threat and was unlucky not to open his account.
Fellow frontman Danny Rowe continued the form that saw him net 50 times last season with a first-half brace at the Marine Travel Arena. Dynamic midfielder Sam Finley made it three shortly after the break before one of the six trialists on show nodded home a fourth.
Another new boy, Welsh midfielder Henry Jones, added a stunning fifth in the closing stages to seal a convincing win.
Young midfielder James Hardy was a notable absentee on Tuesday, but is hopeful of getting some minutes this weekend.
Rochdale arrive at Mill Farm after returning from a week-long training camp in Tenerife for their first pre-season match and this is not the first time the two sides have met in recent years.
Dale came out on top 12 months ago, winning 2-1 at Kellamergh Park. Strikers Nathan Eccleston and Ian Henderson put the visitors into a two-goal lead before Fylde trialist Jason Gilchrist grabbed a consolation strike.
The previous summer Fylde ran out 1-o winners, again at Kellamergh, with a second-half penalty from record goalscorer Richie Allen.
July 2014 saw Rochdale claim a narrow 2-1 win with goals from current midfielder Callum Camps and Scott Tanser. Chris Thomas pulled one back for the Coasters with five minutes to play.
Fylde face a further three friendlies before the 2017-18 season kicks off with three consecutive home games against Bolton Wanderers (July 18th) and Morecambe (July 25th) before wrapping up pre-season with an away trip to Curzon Ashton (July 29th).
Challinor’s side start the new season on Saturday 5th August against Boreham Wood at Mill Farm, before travelling to Chester three days later for the first away game.
Seating: Adult £10, Junior (under 16) £5, 2022 seating £15
Standing: Adult £8, Junior (under 16) £3
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