AFC Fylde winger Matty Hughes admits he was delighted to get the ‘monkey off his back’ after scoring his first goal for almost a year at the weekend.

Hughes came on as a late substitute against FC United and netted the crucial third goal in a 3-1 victory at Mill Farm as the Coasters moved nine points clear at the top of the National League North.

Hughes’ last goal came in Fylde’s 5-2 victory over Boston back in March and the former Fleetwood man was relieved to be back on the scoresheet.

“It was my first goal since March so it was a bit of a relief for me. It has been a difficult season, having not played as much as I would have liked.

“Hopefully now it will have given the gaffer something to think about in terms of squad selection.

“It had been quite a while since I’d scored so I had tried to put it to the back of my mind. But my confidence was been low and I was struggling to make an impact. I am my own worst enemy in that situation and I put myself down. It’s not easy when it’s not going for you.

“Thankfully I’ve got that monkey off my back now and hopefully I can kick on from here.

“It’s my job to give the manager a bit of a headache. I am really pleased to get my goal but ultimately if I didn’t score again all season and we went up then I would be happy.

“Lads have come in, the likes of Bradders and Brendon, and there is some tough competition within the squad this season but that is football at the end of the day.

“You have to just keep plugging away, keep training hard and when you are called upon – like I was on Saturday – you go out there and do a job.

“Even if I’m not starting in the next game, I’ll be ready to come on and make an impact. Hopefully with a few games coming up the squad will rotate a bit and I’ll get a chance.”

With no fixture this weekend, the Coasters have an extended break until their next outing and Hughes feels it will be beneficial for the squad.

“We were talking about this in training the other day. I’d say the break has come at a good time for us as a squad. As the manager said, we looked a bit leggy at the weekend so this gives us a chance to recharge and go into the Curzon Ashton game next weekend fresh and ready.

“On a personal level, because I got my goal, I just want to get straight back into another game and keep that momentum going, but I don’t think a break will do me any harm.

“It’s key that we keep up our form now. On paper, we have three winnable games coming up against Curzon, Alfreton and Altrincham and we have to put them to the sword. We are looking at getting nine points from those games before a tough trip to Salford City at the beginning of next month.

“So these three games coming up are vital.”