AFC Fylde ace Sam Finley admits netting his fifth goal of the season against Stalybridge Celtic on Tuesday night won’t make up for another missed opportunity for the Coasters.

Finley’s side drew a blank against Brackley Town at the weekend as they looked to put pressure on league leaders Solihull Moors.

However, another frustrating evening at Bower Fold during midweek looks to have handed their promotion rivals the title with just three weeks of the season to go.

Stalybridge took the lead through former Fylde man Matty Hughes but Finley rescued a potentially valuable point for the visitors when he curled a sublime strike into the top corner with 20 minutes remaining.

Finley said: “I’m happy that I got the goal but overall we’re not particularly pleased with the end result. It doesn’t do a lot for us especially after Saturday’s stalemate.

“We should have bounced back but we started slow too slowly. It took us 60 minutes to really get going and to get into the game.

“It was always going to be a difficult game considering the way they play and we didn’t cope with it well enough.”

Third-placed North Ferriby United lie in wait for the Coasters this weekend and Finley is anticipating another tough encounter.

“We’re expecting an even tougher challenge on Saturday against North Ferriby. They’ve got Tom Denton up front who is a handful for any defender. He’ll draw people in and create space for others around him to use.

“It’s a very important game with them being in a similar position to ourselves and it’s up to us to raise our game and get the three points.

“We struggled at their place earlier in the season but now is the time to start producing the performances and results we need to get out of this division.”  

The midfield man is nearing the end of his first season with the club following his summer switch from TNS and admits he already feels at home with the Coasters.

“I think I could have probably had a better first season performance-wise but I’ve settled in really well and the lads are great.

“We would have liked to have gone up automatically but now we need to focus on winning the play-offs. They’re a bit of a lottery and we’re going to have to click but hopefully we will get through it.”

Already looking towards the future, Finley admits he can’t wait for the summer move to Mill Farm.

“It will be great to play at the new stadium. We drive past it every Tuesday and Thursday when we go to train and on Saturday’s before games and it looks quality.

“I haven’t had the chance to have a proper look around yet but from what I have seen it is some development and I can’t wait to be playing there next season.”