AFC Telford 1 AFC Fylde 2: Full report and reaction

Danny Lloyd
Danny Lloyd
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AFC TELFORD 1 AFC FYLDE 2

Top scorer Danny Rowe fired Fylde into the lead at the New Bucks Head Stadium, and although Telford levelled through John Cofie, Lloyd secured the points in a frantic first half.

Manager Dave Challinor made three changes to the side defeated at home by Worcester City the previous weekend, with Matt Urwin replacing Ben Hinchliffe in goal, while Matty Hughes and Brad Barnes came into the midfield for Josh Wilson and Richie Baker.

The Coasters got the perfect start as Lloyd and Hughes combined to feed Rowe on the right. The prolific frontman cut on to his left foot in the penalty area and fired into the top left corner just five minutes into the match.

Telford responded well and levelled on 14 minutes through ex-Manchester United youngster Cofie, who flicked a header past Urwin from a quick corner by former Fleetwood Town winger Sean Clancy.

The game became a feisty affair, with neither side afraid of putting in tough challenges. Both two sets of players squared up after 25 minutes, with neither willing to back down, though referee Sarah Garratt kept her cards in her pocket.

Hughes appealed for a penalty when the ball appeared to deflect off the hand of a defender but Garratt was not convinced

The hosts went extremely close to taking the lead when as midfielder Lucas Dawson fired a shot from 25 yards which thundered off the crossbar and the Coasters eventually cleared the danger.

Two minutes later, Fylde were in front again and it was to be a landmark goal for Lloyd.

The winger was released one-on-one with keeper Harry Burgoyne on the left of the penalty area after 38 minutes and steered his shot across goal and in off the right post. Lloyd savoured the moment with his team-mates.

The Coasters were somewhat fortunate to go in at half- time with 11 men after Barnes appeared to catch Cofie in the face with an elbow.

The Bucks’ fans were irate but the referee again kept her cards in her pocket.

Hughes almost made it three early in the second half, after terrific passing play between Dion Charles and Sam Finley saw the midfielder denied by Burgoyne by the right-hand post.

Telford went very close to an equaliser when David Hibbert’s sweet 20-yard volley had Urwin beaten but the crossbar saved the Coasters for a second time.

Urwin produced a superb save from Hibbert’s acrobatic overhead kick from 12 yards.

Fylde had chances too to cement their advantage but Charles and Rowe both dragged shots wide of Burgoyne’s left post.

There was to be more controversy when Telford’s players and fans protested that Urwin had handled the ball outside the box, collecting a cross from the right. Thankfully for Fylde, the referee disagreed.

Matt Blinkhorn and Dom Collins came on late for Charles and Finley and the final whistle sounded to the delight of the travelling Coasters fans.

The win keeps Fylde fourth, still seven points behind leaders Solihull Moors with games in hand, going into tomorrow’s rearranged derby trip to Chorley (7.45pm).

Fylde manager Dave Challinor explained his tough decision to change keepers at Telford.

Challinor said: “Ben Hinchliffe has been our number one since we arrived, so it was a difficult decision to drop him.

“Unfortunately he made a couple of mistakes recently, which keepers will do, and Matt Urwin has been patient and deserved his opportunity.

“He has played in a few cup games and did really well, and he was fantastic at Telford.

We have a strong squad but players will make decisions for us on most occasions.”

The Fylde boss was delighted to return to winning ways, and added: “It was very important that we bounced back from the disappointment against Worcester City.

“We weren’t at our best by any stretch but it was great to come away with the win.

“Full credit to Telford, who made the game very difficult for us. It was a very competitive and physical game, and on another day it could have gone the other way.

“We started the game well and deservedly went in front, but a lapse in concentration gave a goal away and that really started the frustration because we knew we had let them back in cheaply.

“We gave them something to go at and made it tough for ourselves because the crowd got behind them. It became a bit scrappy but I thought the referee handled it well.”

As for 50-goal Danny Lloyd, Challinor added: “We had a similar conversation about Danny Rowe a few weeks ago. We think we have a very good squad and on his day Lloydy is a real threat.

“We have a tough game on Tuesday at Chorley and it will probably the same type of match. The pitch isn’t great and it will be a battle, but if we show the same qualities we can get a positive result.”

DANIEL AGNEW

Fylde: Urwin, C.Hughes, Crainey, Langley, Hannigan, Barnes, Charles (Blinkhorn 78),Finley, (Collins 90), Rowe, M.Hughes, Lloyd.