With just one week to go until the start of the newly named Vanarama Conference North season, The Coasters have one more test to face in shape of local rivals Bamber Bridge.
So far, Fylde have lost twice, drawn once and won three times during their pre-season campaign and with just one week remaining, boss Dave Challinor will be looking to work out who will be in his starting XI against Brackley. It’s the final chance for the whole first team squad to show the managerial team what they can do in the hope of starting the first game of the season.
Pre-season victories over Nelson, Kendal and most recently the 1-0 win against the Bolton Wanderers Development squad on Tuesday night are nothing but encouraging for The Coasters and the Bamber Bridge game will be the final test in what has been a solid batch of friendly fixtures.
So far for The Brig, they have won four out of their six pre-season friendlies including a 9-1 victory over AFC Brigg and an impressive 3-1 win against Coasters rivals, Chorley. Like Fylde, they faced the Bolton Wanderers Development squad but they were unable to defeat them, the game ending in a 1-1 draw. Brig end their pre-season schedule on Wednesday as they travel to Euxton Villa.
Today’s home side finished fourth in the Evo Stik Northern Premier Division One North last season, missing out of going up via the play-offs, so you can imagine they are preparing for a big season down at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium. They kick off their season at home to Droylsden, a team we defeated 10-0 away from home in the league last time around but they should come back stronger than when we faced them, so Brig will have to make sure they step up their efforts against us in this game.
The only competitive fixture between these two teams in the past two season was the Lancashire Cup semi-final last season where The Coasters won 2-0 courtesy of goals from Matty Blinkhorn and a Joe Booth penalty. Prior to that, in league action, Fylde beat The Brig twice in the league in the year that The Coasters stormed the Northern Premier Division One and won the league, so past meetings between the sides do go in our favour.
The match kicks off at 3pm from the Sir Tom Finney Stadium so come down and support the team one final time before a new chapter is written in the AFC Fylde archives as we embark on our first season in the Vanarama Conference North.