Coasters lose top spot after home lapse

Allen - nets for the Coasters

Allen - nets for the Coasters

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AFC Fylde 1, Chorley 3

A determined second-half fightback by Chorley resulted in Fylde’s first home defeat of the season in Vanarama Conference North and knocked them off top spot.

Richie Allen gave the home side a half-time lead only for Josh Hine’s double and an Aaron Burns strike to seal Chorley’s third successive win at Kellamergh Park.

It ended Fylde’s run of eight successive league wins and 11 unbeaten, and was the Coasters’ first home defeat in a league fixture since April.

It was the first meeting this season between the teams promoted from the Evo-Stik League last year and it was the visitors who took the game to Fylde.

Neither side was able to trouble the opposing keepers in the first 10 minutes but it was Coasters stopper Ben Hinchliffe who was first to be called into action, denying Burns’ strike on the turn.

Danny Lloyd’s curling free-kick was comfortably claimed by Chorley keeper Sam Ashton, who then launched a break from which former Fylde midfielder Jack Dorney’s low shot was well claimed by Hinchliffe.

Adam Roscoe collected a loose pass and released Hine, who shot well wide before Roscoe himself volleyed over on the half-hour.

After a couple of Burns crosses were plucked out of the air by Hinchliffe, a moment of magic from Allen broke the deadlock.

Allen beat three defenders before firing past Ashton into the bottom corner on 37 minutes.

Four minutes later, Lloyd missed a gilt-edged chance to double Fylde’s lead when he fired over from close range after Ashton had turned Allen’s cross-cum-shot into his path.

Chorley came out for the second half looking determined to turn the tide, but Lloyd had a further chance on 50 minutes, shooting wide after Danny Rowe had intercepted a poor pass and played him in.

Chorley began pressuring the Fylde defence more and more but Dale Withams’ 30-yard strike after 54 minutes went wide, then Burns hit the side-netting three minutes later after Josh Wilson was bundled off the ball.

The Magpies did get the equaliser they had been threatening on 58 minutes, when a corner found its way to Hine 30 yards out and he unleashed a drive which took a deflection off Burns and found the net.

And the play-off hopefuls were ahead five minutes later, when Burns turned Hine’s cross into the goal from just five yards to stun the home side.

A series of Fylde crosses were cut out by Ashton – one from Rowe was plucked off the head of Allen as the striker raced in. But the points were sealed with 10 minutes to go, when Adam Sumner brought down Hine just inside the area and a penalty was awarded, despite the Fylde protests. The midfielder duly stepped up to dispatch his second of the game.

There was still time for Fylde to hit back but they struggled to find a way through Chorley’s back-line.

Rowe sent a strike wide from outside the box, though he may have had better options either side of him.

A better effort from Rowe followed on 87 minutes, but his bullet header from a corner was saved by Ashton.

Barrow beat Brackley Town by the same score to go a point above Fylde and the Cumbrians can stretch their lead tomorrow, when they visit Stockport, though then they will have played three more than the Coasters.

Chorley remain sixth but would climb into the play-off zone with victory at Leamington Spa tomorrow.

Fylde are next in action at fourth-placed Hednesford on Saturday.