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Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Holding Wigan looks no easy task for ambitious Fylde

League One leaders can hold off Challinor's charges

Michael Jacobs has scored in Wigan's last two matches
1 of 1

FA Cup second round
BBC Two, 7.55pm Friday

AFC Fylde have a long-stated aim to reach the Football League by 2022 but they are a mid-table National League side at the moment and might struggle to match Sky Bet League One leaders Wigan in their FA Cup second-round tie at Mill Farm.

Businessman David Haythornwaite is behind Fylde's extraordinary rise from North West Counties League Division Two (level ten in the pyramid) to the fifth tier over the last ten years.

When buying the club (then named Kirkham and Wesham) in 2007, Haythornwaite drew up a 15-year plan to deliver Football League status and, five promotions later, he is bang on track.

The additional funds of a lengthy FA Cup run would come in handy for the Fylde chief and manager Dave Challinor, who have worked together for the last six years.

However, Fylde's chances of reaching the third round took a nosedive when they were drawn against Wigan, who are arguably the strongest team involved at this stage of the competition.

Fylde will be looking for a hero to step forward and the most obvious candidate is 28-year-old striker Danny Rowe, the National League's top scorer this season with 11 goals and a player focused on making up for lost time following his release from Manchester United at the age of 16.

Rowe has netted seven goals in his last five games and Wigan have kept just one clean sheet in the last nine away fixtures.

Fylde's problem is they will struggle to keep the League One side at bay

They are weakened in defence by the absence of on-loan Wigan right-back Luke Joyce and are up against a side with a host of potent attacking options.

Athletic have won on three of their last four road trips despite not achieving a shutout in any of them and their recent trend of high-scoring away victories may continue.

Wigan to win & both teams to score
1pt 21-10 bet365, BetBright, Hills

Bet on this match at

Team news

AFC Fylde
Luke Burke is ineligible to face his parent club and Jack Muldoon completes a three-game ban.

Dan Burn is available after serving a one-match ban and Nick Powell has recovered from a hamstring injury.

Key stat
Wigan have kept only one clean sheet in their last nine away games.

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Athletic have won on three of their last four road trips despite not achieving a shutout in any of them
E.W. Terms
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