AFC Fylde 5 Eastwood Town 1

Adam Farrell curls a lovely free kick in for Fylde's first goal
Adam Farrell curls a lovely free kick in for Fylde's first goal
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FYLDE got their Evo-Stik Northern Premier play-off push back on track as they recorded their second comfortable victory in 12 days over the bottom club.

Adam Farrell’s hat-trick was the highlight of an excellent all-round great performance.

Sean Cooke almost scored within 40 seconds of his home debut but could only fire into the side netting.

Farrell opened the scoring after only three minutes with a sublime free-kick from the edge of the box which had keeper Richard Stainsby rooted to the spot.

However, the lead lasted only four minutes until Vijay Selvam equalised with a long-range shot which Ben Hinchliffe had no chance of keeping out.

From then on it was all Fylde until half time – Bradley Barnes volleyed wide from 25 yards on 10 minutes before Matty Hughes sent an overhead kick on to the top of the goal from a corner on 18 minutes.

Two minutes later, Jack Dorney couldn’t get any power on his shot and the Eastwood keeper was able to scoop the ball up.

But Fylde regained the lead on 24 minutes, when Booth made another good run and cut the ball back for Cooke. His shot was spilled into the path of Booth, who slotted home from close range.

Barnes had the better of full-back Josh Raven again a minute later to cross in for Farrell to guide a header

which Stainsby saved well.

Barnes headed inches wide from Cooke’s excellent cross seven minutes before half-time.

The game was still in the balance at the start of the second half, and Paolo Piliero came close to equalising on 50 minutes.

Barnes continued racing down either wing but couldn’t find that killer pass or final shot to extend his side’s lead, squandering three more chances by the 64th minute.

Farrell was denied by a great tackle from centre-back Daniel Roberts inside his box, and three minutes later Cooke’s shot was tipped round his post by Stainsby.

Any thoughts of a tight finish were ended when an eight-minute onslaught which brought three more goals for the home side.

Farrell completed his hat-trick with two in two minutes, both close-range finishes set up by Barnes, to make it 4-1 with 10 minutes to go.

Barnes then rounded off a fantastic solo performance by collecting a stray clearance and blasting the ball in from a tight angle

Fylde manager Dave Challinor was delighted. He said: “It was a tough one because everybody came here expecting to see us just turn up and win five or six nil.

“Without being disrespectful to Eastwood, they’re obviously struggling and barely had a squad to come here with just 13 players.

“It was a really good opportunity for us to show what we can do and work on our forward play.

“We gave them a goal which gave them a lift and we should have been out of sight a long way before we were.”

CHRIS PARK

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Haslam, Sumner, Hughes, Taylor, B. Barnes (C), Dorney, Booth, Farrell, M. Barnes, Cooke; Subs not used: Winter, Dunn, McCarthy, Carden, Fleming.