AFC Fylde 3 Tamworth 1: Full report and reaction

Andy Bond scores the third
Andy Bond scores the third

Fylde secured three more crucial points in the race for the National North title, this second successive 3-1 win maintaining their 10-point lead at the top.

The hosts broke the deadlock inside the opening two minutes, when Steve Williams volleyed home before leading goalscorer Danny Rowe doubled the advantage.

Tamworth pulled one back before the break, when Danny Newton headed home, but Andy Bond made sure of a comfortable win in the 66th minute.

Manager Dave Challinor named the same side that had won at Brackley the previous week, with on-loan defender Laurence Maguire from Chesterfield making his home debut.

The Coasters flew out of the traps and took just 63 seconds to open the scoring in high winds at Mill Farm.

Brendon Daniels whipped in a free-kick and centre-half Williams volleyed home left- footed to stun the visitors.

Tamworth, the first team to beat Fylde in the league this season, thought they had found an immediate response when Danny Newton, the match-winner from |October’s reverse fixture, headed home but he was adjudged offside.

The hosts piled more misery on the Lambs on 18 minutes, when hitman Rowe got in on the act.

Bohan Dixon slipped a delightful ball inside the full-back to Macualey Wilson, who in turn squared the ball for Rowe to roll home his 41st goal of the season.

There was almost a carbon copy of the opening goal five minutes later, when Daniels delivered an inviting cross from the left and Williams tested the goalkeeper with another effort. However, the referee blew up for a foul.

The home side were really enjoying themselves and almost made it three before the half hour. Rowe and Dixon combined but a last-gasp tackle prevented the latter from getting his shot away and Rowe’s follow-up was blocked.

Williams was proving a constant menace to the Tamworth backline and stopper James Belshaw had to be on his toes to keep out the defender’s header.

However, against the run of play Tamworth dragged themselves back into the contest 10 minutes before the interval.

Connor Taylor beat Wilson to the ball down the left and floated a cross to the back post for the unmarked Newton to head home. The Coasters had another decent chance before the break ,when Rowe crossed for Daniels only for the winger to head over from 10 yards.

Tamworth were the first to threaten after the restart, when Luke Jones headed narrowly wide from Stephan Morley’s deep free-kick.

Ben Fox skewed a strike wide moments later as the visitors pressed for an equaliser.

Fylde hit back with an opportunity of their ownwhen Daniels fizzed an effort across goal, which Williams and then Rowe at the back post failed to connect with.

Bond tried his luck and would have added to his goal tally had it not been for a fingertip save from Belshaw.

However, the midfielder was not to be denied for long.

The stand-in captain set Dixon galloping down the right, and the towering midfielder floated a wonderful cross to the back post for Bond to finish off what he started with a simple header.

The visitors almost grabbed a second in spectacular fashion, when Ross Dyer crashed a sensational left-footed volley off the crossbar and Fox fired a follow-up attempt wide of the post.

Belshaw prevented the hosts from bagging a fourth when a loose ball in the area fell kindly for Caspar Hughes to let fly and the keeper was equal to it.

It was the same scoreline, but manager Dave Challinor rated Saturday’s win over Tamworth as better than the one at Brackley seven days earlier.

“It’s a much better result than the last game. It’s a good win.

“The way things are at the minute I’ll start to look now who we play next week. It really is game by game for us. That’s the way that it’s got to be.

“Tamworth were the next game. They were the most important game. Now that’s chalked off, we can now refocus and look forward to next weekend (a visit to Harrogate).”

Challinor was delighted with his side’s start, adding: “We kicked off and we put the ball into a good area. The ball got cleared, and we won the second ball and won a free-kick within 30 seconds.

“ If you get the little things right, they will take care of the bigger things.

“We want to play forward and we’re better when we play forwards.

In the first half, I thought we were very good. We had one poor phase defensively and it cost us a goal.

“That then gave us an awkward 20 minutes either side of half-time. That puts everyone a little bit on edge because there’s only one goal in the game.

“On another day that could have cost us.

“Getting the third goal settled everyone down and we saw the game out quite comfortably. It’s a very welcome three points.”

DANIEL AGNEW AND CHRISTOPHER COUGHLIN

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Wilson, Langley, Williams, Jones, Bond (Finley 82), C. Hughes, Bradley, Dixon, Daniels (M. Hughes 90), Row; Subs not used: Baker, Kennedy, Blinkhorn.

Tamworth: Belshaw, Burns, Morley, Fox, Jones, Lane, Green (Briscoe 84), Clarke (Opoku 76), Newton, Dyer, Taylor (Davies 84); Subs not used: Davis, Jezeph.

Att: 1,572

Ref: Paul Brown