Adam Murray’s Fylde are back in action this weekend and back home at Mill Farm to take on Chesterfield FC in National League Matchday Two.

Following a 2-2 draw against Maidenhead United on the opening day, the Coasters will be hoping they can claim all three points in their first home game of the season against Chesterfield, who we cast an eye on. 

The Lowdown

The Coasters come into this game after coming from behind away at Maidenhead United to earn a point, despite being reduced to 10 men after Connor Barrett saw red for a late challenge. Two headers from Nick Haughton and Alex Whitmore gave the Coasters a well-deserved point on the road.

The away side kicked off their campaign with a thriller, securing a 4-3 win at home to Dorking Wanderers, with goals from Ryan Colclough, Liam Mandeville and Joe Quigley notching in injury time to give the Spireites an opening day victory. 

The Manager – Paul Cook

Paul Cook is a man who could be described in many ways, but vastly experienced would probably be the best way to do that. 

The Kirby-born former midfielder certainly put his stamp on English football during his playing days, making a combined 643 appearances in the Football League and non-league. 

Cook enjoyed large spells at Wolves and Burnley and became somewhat of a fan favourite before enjoying spells at Wigan and Accrington Stanley, where both clubs hold him in high regard. Cook ended his career at Stanley and then moved into the managerial side of the game with Southport – however, he only lasted a season before being dismissed. 

The 56-year-old then moved over the English border to Ireland to take over at Sligo Rovers. It was a place where Cook enjoyed some success during a five-year stint, which included wins in the FAI Cup before earning a place in the Europa League.

However, in 2012 he moved back to England and to Saturday’s opponents in Chesterfield. Narrowly missing out on the Playoffs in his first season in charge, Cook then guided the Spireites to League One as champions in the 2013/14 season.

In the club’s first season at League One level, he managed to gain a playoff finish, narrowly losing out to the eventual playoff winners Preston North End.

After leaving Chesterfield for a stint at Portsmouth, Cook was once again on the move, this time back up North to Wigan Athletic, who paid compensation for his services. In his first season in charge of the Latics, he guided them to the League One title and to the FA Cup Quarter Finals. Cook managed to keep the Latics in the championship until they suffered financial difficulties and eventually resigned in 2020.

A nine-month spell at Ipswich didn’t end the way he wanted it to, which led to him returning to Chesterfield, who he guided to a playoff finish in his first season before narrowly losing out to Notts County in the playoff final a year later.

Key Players

Armando Dobra – An absolute gem of a signing by Paul Cook, the Albanian can be seen as one of the most exciting players in the National League.

Dobra’s beautiful goal in the playoff final last year shows his quality and proves he should be playing a couple of leagues higher. An exciting player with a bit of flair to get fans off their seats, Dobra will be crucial for Chesterfield this season.


Will Grigg – Somewhat of a coup for Chesterfield, Grigg links up with former boss Cook after being together at Wigan. 

The Northern Ireland international certainly knows where the goal is and could be the difference between getting over the line and not.  

With a wealth of EFL experience, defenders will be wary when coming up against Grigg, who completes a formidable attack who, in reality, could be playing higher.

Ryan Colclough – Another attacking option for the Spireites, who was a brilliant signing by Cook. An immediate starter at Altrincham, Colclough can play in multiple positions and certainly knows how to find the net as well as putting a ball into the box.

Another option for Cook, and like Dobra, Colclough can also play through the middle and will be a handy tool if Chesterfield are going to make a champions push.


Previous meetings

6th October 2018 – Chesterfield 0-0 AFC Fylde

Attendance: 4021

16th February 2019 – AFC Fylde 0-1 Chesterfield

Goalscorers: Marc Antoine Fortune 13′

Attendance: 2175

8th October 2019 – AFC Fylde 1-3 Chesterfield

Goalscorers: Fylde – Tyler Forbes 90+2′ – Chesterfield- Curtis Weston 55′, Mike Fondop 66′ & 81′

25th January 2020 – Chesterfield 1-1 AFC Fylde 

Goalscorers: Chesterfield – Jonathan Smith 32′ –  Fylde – Nick Haughton 76′

Attendance: 3262

FA Cup

20th October 2018 – AFC Fylde 1-3 Chesterfield

Goalscorers: Fylde – Danny Rowe 12′ – Chesterfield – Will Evans 26′, Tom Denton 35′ & 70′

Attendance: 1092

Opposition Form

The Spireites travel to the Fylde Coast after an opening-day thriller against Dorking Wanderers, where they managed to come out on top. 

Prior to that, the Spireites tested themselves against Football League opposition in pre-season and gave a good account of themselves, winning on three occasions but narrowly losing out to Derby County and both Sheffield clubs. 

Chesterfield missed out on promotion last season, losing on penalties to Notts County, so this year’s aims will be to go one further and avoid the heartbreak that the playoffs brought last time around. 

Match Preview is written by Benji Jenkinson