Fylde hold nerve after scares

Wilson - lively
Wilson - lively
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AFC Fylde 5, Radcliffe Borough 2

Fylde fell behind twice but overcame the scare to keep their hopes of a fourth Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy title in six seasons alive.

The game sprang into life on three minutes, when the visitors were awarded a penalty.

Sam McMahon stepped up only to see his initial effort saved by Matt Urwin in the Fylde goal. Frontman McMahon followed up and tucked away the rebound to put the Coasters right up against it early on.

The next meaningful attempt came on 10 minutes and again fell to the visitors. Fitzgerald turned well and forced Urwin into a terrific save low to his left.

Two minutes later Josh Wilson headed wide as the Coasters tried to get back into the game. They almost did when Dylan Versallo rounded the keeper only to be forced too wide to get a meaningful shot in.

Wilson again came close to levelling the score after 20 minutes, following a deep corner from the right, but keeper Cheetham saved.

Wilson got his goal a couple of minutes later. Danny Rowe knocked down a deep Matty Hughes cross and Wilson was there for an easy tap-in.

The lively Wilson then turned provider for Rowe. His attempt was well blocked behind for a corner. Fylde were denied a goal on 33 minutes, when Versallo neatly tucked the ball away only to see the linesman’s flag raised.

Radcliffe regained the lead a minute later. McMahon grabbed his second after neat work down the right.

A low ball came into the box and the striker calmly slotted home. Alex Whittle got the last touch but McMahon will certainly claim it.

The Coasters tried in vain to equalise before the break as Rowe tested Cheetham form distance but the visitors held firm.

Caspar Hughes entered the action in place of Liam Gibson after the break and Fylde quickly levelled.

Rowe scored with a firm header into the top corner after a good cross from Caspar Hughes.

Rowe almost got his second on 51 minutes but was again denied by Cheetham, then the striker blazed over in a good position.

Fylde earned a penalty on 69 minutes, when Versallo was brought down in the box.

Rowe stepped up and smashed the ball straight down the middle to give the Coasters the lead for the first time.

Radcliffe tried to respond but a Forbes header was easily saved by Urwin.

Fylde started to dominate possession and looked like adding to their tally, though the visitors had loud shouts for another penalty waved away after Caspar Hughes brought down the dangerous McMahon.

Danny Lloyd replaced the impressive Matty Hughes and Ben Holmes made things comfortable for the Coasters on 80 minutes, his first goal for the club from Rowe’s neat flick.

Rowe got his second assist of the game, putting the ball on a plate for Akil Wright to join Holmes on the scoresheet for the first time three minutes later.

Fylde comfortably played out the closing stages as a man of the match display by Rowe guided them home.