AFC Fylde continued their great start to the season with a well fought 0-0 draw at Wrexham, there were chances for both sides and some could argue the Coasters should have come away with all three points.
Jordan Tunnicliffe picked up an injury early on and was replaced by Arlen Birch who was not only making his debut for AFC Fylde but also his first professional appearance. He slotted in comfortably at right-back as Luke Burke moved to central defence. The change didn’t seem to until the side as they kept a brilliant away clean sheet.
Tomorrow the Coasters make a 558-mile round trip to West Leigh Park to face Havant and Waterlooville in the first-ever meeting between the two sides. The Hawks have yet to gain all three points this season with an opening day defeat away to Barrow and a goalless draw at home to Boreham Wood on Tuesday night.
Ryan Lea previews the action…
There are no new injury concerns for Dave Challinors men. Arlen Birch may be set to make his first full professional debut and with Gime Toures encouraging substitute performances he will be pushing for a place in the starting line-up.
This season is the eighteenth since the union of south coast rivals Havant Town and Waterlooville FC; a history that although comparatively short has been witness to many accomplishments. Three promotions; semi-final matches in the FA Trophy and Conference Play-Offs; and no less than six FA Cup First Round appearances would be highlights – with the celebrated run during the 2007/08 season leading to a once in a lifetime trip to play Liverpool at Anfield in the Fourth Round.
Of course, the story doesn’t start with the June 1998 merger; the origins of the club’s predecessors date back over 100 years. Local football in the borough started back in 1883 with the formation of Havant FC. The team plied their trade in the Portsmouth Football League and in the 1950s produced Chelsea and England forward Bobby Tambling. In 1969 the club merged with Leigh Park FC; Sunday League upstarts from a Havant suburb formed in 1958 who that season had won the FA Sunday Cup.
Lee Bradbury started his professional career at Portsmouth before moving to Manchester City for a club record £3 million. He went on to play for 8 other teams in the Football League before hanging up his boots in 2011. It was also in 2011 when Bradbury was appointed as the Cherries Caretaker Manager after the departure of Eddie Howe to Burnley. During his first season at the helm, Bradbury steered the Cherries into the League One Play-offs, eventually losing to Huddersfield on penalties. Bradbury joined Havant and Waterlooville in 2012 and despite relegation in 2016, the club stood by him. Back to back promotions followed earning Bradbury legendary status at the club.
Head to Head
Tomorrow’s game will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides following The Hawks title winning promotion from The National League South.
One you may know
Brian is an experienced Football League player who started his career at Bournemouth in 2000. Over six years with the Cherries he played 145 games before going on loan to Preston North End who he then joined in2006. He moved to Doncaster Rovers in January 2007. Brian played a vital role in Doncaster’s 2007–08 promotion season. He filled in as captain for Doncaster in the final two months of the season and captained the side in their play-off final victory over Leeds United at Wembley. Brian is known for possessing a deadly long-range shot and is a composed penalty taker. He played almost 200 games for Doncaster over six seasons before moving to Burnley in 2012, and then to the Hawks in September 2014.
One to Watch
Striker Alfie Pavey joined Havant and Waterlooville from Dartford in June 2018 being Lee Bradbury’s first summer signing. Pavey finished last season recording 22 goals in The National League South and will certainly be one to watch.
Referee – Rebecca Welch
Assistants – Paul Tomes & Matthew Sowerby
Fourth Official – Peter Shacklady
AFC Fylde will be providing their usual live text Twitter commentary of the game, for updates follow @AFCFYLDE.