Opposition Insight | AFC Fylde

By Ryan Brookes

AFC Fylde are next up to visit the LNER Community Stadium this Tuesday evening, as they look to prevent City from completing yet another league double over them.

The Coasters, who were not so long ago, threatened with early relegation, have gone on to escape the bottom four and climb as high as 17th, courtesy of their good form of late.

Picking up seven wins from their last eleven in the league, Chris Beech has slowly but surely managed to flip Fylde’s fortunes in the right direction, and it begins to look a brighter end to the season than it did previously for them.

Two victories for the side in their opening sixteen fixtures following promotion last term led to the sacking of manager Adam Murray, and since then it has been a constant improvement for the Coasters.

A run of seven games unbeaten earlier this year was the standout period that has seen Fylde climb out of the relegation zone.

Manager: Chris Beech

A midfielder back in the day, Chris Beech began his senior playing career not too far away from his current workplace – Blackpool FC in 1993.

He made close to a century of appearances for his hometown club, before a successful stint at Hartlepool United, plus other spells at Huddersfield and Rochdale prior to retiring in 2004 and making the transition to full-time coaching.

Beech held off-the-pitch roles at Bury and Rochdale, before he was made caretaker manager at the latter for a short period of time, his first managerial experience.

He held the position of assistant manager at Dale from 2013-2019, one of the most successful times for the club, then left to be Carlisle United boss for a couple of years, with the Covid pandemic very much hindering what could have been a very triumphant period for him and the club.

The 49-year-old had been out of work for almost a year until appointed Director of Football at AFC Fylde in December 2022, and he was promoted to the manager role following Adam Murray’s departure last year.

Beech has for sure turned the Coasters’ form around since then, putting Oldham, Gateshead, and Aldershot to the sword respectively with 3-0, 4-0, and 5-0 victories.

Top Scorer: Nick Haughton

A man who played one of the most crucial parts in Fylde’s National League North win in 2022/23, Nick Haughton managed 26 goals in 42 games to guide the Coasters to promotion.

This season maybe hasn’t hit the same heights, but the 29-year-old is still considered as one of the best midfielders in the division.

His goal against Maidenhead at the weekend put him on 14 for the season and it is almost guaranteed that there will be more to come yet as we head into the business end of things.

Fylde’s number ten has also weighed in with five assists to help out in his side’s survival hopes, and he will be looking to add to his tally this Tuesday evening.


Tuesday’s fixture will be only the fifth meeting between the two sides, and it is York City who have the edge on head-to-head.

In a game that occurred behind closed doors during the cancelled 2020/21 National League North season, Fylde sealed a 3-1 win in the first-ever match at the LNER Community Stadium.

City would have to wait until the following season to look for revenge, and they got exactly that, completing the league double over the Coasters, Lenell John-Lewis and Mitch Hancox each grabbing a goal in both games.

We travelled to Mill Farm back in November 2023, and secured yet another victory over Fylde, this time Scott Burgess and Ryan Fallowfield on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win.