In-form Lancaster City will begin their Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy campaign against AFC Fylde.
After a great start to the season for the Dolly Blues which has seen them gradually climb up to second in the league table, Tuesday’s game presents them with the opportunity to put in yet another strong performance against a team two leagues above them in the pyramid.
The Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy has been won by both teams on more than one occasion.
The Dolly Blues have won it seven times, most recently in 2021 when they eventually played the final of the 2019/20 edition of the competition, which had been postponed due to the pandemic.
They comfortably beat Prestwich Heys 6-1 that year to get their hands on the trophy for the seventh time.
AFC Fylde last won the trophy in 2014 after a 4-1 over Chorley in the final. ‘The Coasters’ have won it three times in total.
The current holders are National League North side Southport, who also won the trophy in the 2021/22 season.
AFC Fylde are, in teams of league status, one of the two highest ranked teams in the competition this year, the other being Rochdale, who were relegated to the National League from League Two last season.
Fylde were promoted to the National League last year as champions of the National League North, picking up 95 points from 46 games.
They are currently 22nd in the fifth tier, having won one, drawn two and lost five of their eight league games this season.
Despite the fact that they occupy one of the relegation places in the division, they have scored 13 goals so far, an average of over 1.6 per game.
However, they come up against a Lancaster City side who are bang in form.
Not only have City won four and drawn two of their opening seven league games, but they have also kept five clean sheets in the process.
Speaking to Beyond Radio after their 3-0 victory at Hyde United on Saturday, Lancaster manager Mark Fell said that he will rotate his team for the visit of Fylde.
“We’ll change the side because we’ll have to – I wouldn’t expect to see Andrew Teague or Simon Grand, we’ll probably give Cowps (Niall Cowperthwaite) a rest.
“We’ll have a look at it and see what sort of team we can play, it would be nice to see some of the club’s younger players as well, your Robbie Deighans and your Jenson Butterworths.
“We don’t want to lose the momentum, that’s really important to us. We’ve got a lot of respect for the competition and we want to progress.”
Lancaster City v AFC Fylde in the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy First Round gets underway at 7.45pm on Tuesday (September 12) at The Giant Axe.