AFC Fylde v Chesterfield preview: Much-changed AFC Fylde ‘extremely difficult to beat’

Chesterfield's Tom Denton wins a header against AFC Fylde
Chesterfield's Tom Denton wins a header against AFC Fylde

John Sheridan isn’t the only National League manager to have added reinforcements to his squad – Saturday’s hosts AFC Fylde have also strengthened.

The side Chesterfield knocked out of the FA Cup have added Lewis Walters on non-contract terms and borrowed Stevenage striker Alex Reid, Norwich City defender Timi Odusina, Manchester United defender Tom Sang and Notts County midfielder Tom Crawford.

Chesterfield's Sam Muggleton competes for a header with AFC Fylde's Danny Rowe: withPicture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: The Emirates FA Cup - Qualifing Fourth Round match AFC Fylde -V- Chesterfield at Mill Farm, Wesham, Lancashire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

Chesterfield's Sam Muggleton competes for a header with AFC Fylde's Danny Rowe: withPicture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: The Emirates FA Cup - Qualifing Fourth Round match AFC Fylde -V- Chesterfield at Mill Farm, Wesham, Lancashire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

Like the Spireites, Fylde are in good form.

“Fylde are currently enjoyed a dogged run of form, having lost just one of their last 11 games in all competitions,” said Matt Scrafton of the Blackpool Gazette.

“Dave Challinor has made them extremely difficult to beat - they’ve lost just five times in the league this season.

“They do draw quite a few but that’s seen their points tally tick along nicely over the last couple of months to see four points off the top.”

Chesterfield's Curtis Weston wins a tackle: Picture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: The Emirates FA Cup - Qualifing Fourth Round match AFC Fylde -V- Chesterfield at Mill Farm, Wesham, Lancashire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

Chesterfield's Curtis Weston wins a tackle: Picture by Steve Flynn/AHPIX.com, Football: The Emirates FA Cup - Qualifing Fourth Round match AFC Fylde -V- Chesterfield at Mill Farm, Wesham, Lancashire, England on copyright picture Howard Roe 07973 739229

Fylde will be without Lewis Montrose, who has fractured his foot and may miss the rest of the season after going under the knife.

But dangerman Danny Rowe will be involved and must be taken seriously.

“The striker is the league’s top scorer with 21 this season.” said Scrafton.

“He’s capable of scoring all different types of goals.”

Fylde, who boast the second best goal difference in the division, have long been known as a goalscoring outfit, but this season have tightened up at the back.

Scrafton said: “Plenty of creativity in attack, like to keep the ball on the deck and pass their way up the pitch. Got a lot of technical players but they’re also able to mix it up and do the dirty side of the game, too.

“They’ve become much better defensively this season, having previously had a reputation of leaking too many goals. But they’ve only conceded 25, which is eight fewer than Salford.”