Taylor rocket lifts Gate out of the trouble zone

AFC Fylde v Trafford
AFC Fylde v Trafford
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Despite being buoyed by the return of striker Richie Allen on loan

from Fleetwood Town for the rest of the season, Fylde fell behind but striker Jimmy McCarthy equalised on the stroke of half-time and Joe Booth struck the winner from the penalty spot five minutes after the restart.

Trafford were looking to cause an upset and looked dangerous early on. Glenn Steel brought down Michael Oates on the edge of the area, when he was through on goal, and from the resulting free-kick Joe Shaw silenced the home crowd when he beat a full-stretch Zac Jones with eight minutes gone.

Shaw tried his luck again with a free-kick from almost the same spot on 15 minutes, but Fylde’s Harry Winter got a block in this time round.

Fylde could have equalised on 19 minutes after some great build-up play resulted in McCarthy setting up Paul Jarvis but his shot was tipped round the post by Robertson.

After clearing the corner, Trafford went straight on the counter and it was only a poor shot straight at Jones which prevented Kamahl Whight from increasing the visitors’ lead.

Fylde couldn’t keep hold of the ball for the next 15 minutes, and just past the half-hour Oates should have doubled the lead when he found himself through on goal. However, he took too many touches trying to round the keeper and the ball was cleared.

Michael Barnes and Jarvis began to control the wings, and they created Fylde’s best chance so far on 33 minutes but McCarthy directed his header down and the ball bounced agonisingly over the bar.

The equaliser came at just the right time for Fylde as Jarvis made another great run down the left wing and squared for McCarthy to tap the ball in from six yards for his second goal in successive games, and his first at Kellamergh Park.

Fylde began strongly after the restart and went ahead on 50 minutes, when the referee awarded a penalty after Nia Bayunu was judged to have handled when trying to clear a cross. Booth drilled the ball into the bottom right corner of the goal, sending keeper Andy Robertson the wrong way.

Oates then had a chance to level it six minutes later, forcing a brilliant point-blank save from Jones after a penalty-box scramble involving four players.

The Coasters controlled the game well from then on and looked for that goal that would pull them clear. McCarthy had a chance to extend the lead on 67 minutes but his header went wide before Harry Winter twice fired shots over the bar.

Jarvis had a chance to make sure of the win but fired wide with seconds on the clock, and in the third minute of stoppage time Trafford’s Danny Shannon was called off-side as he shot from close-range. The full-time whistle couldn’t come soon enough for Fylde manager Dave Challinor, who said: “In the first half we weren’t at the races and couldn’t control the play at all.

“We knew we had to be on our game and the equaliser came at an important time for us. At half-time some harsh words were said and we came out and got the goal, which was massive and enabled us to see the game out.”

Curzon’s 3-1 win at Durhams preserves their three-point lead, which they can double at home to Woodley Sports tonight.

Second-placed Fylde, who have a game in hand, start a run of three consecutive away games at Salford City tomorrow.

CHRIS PARK

Fylde: Jones, Winter, Sumner, Doughty, Steel (C), B. Barnes, McCarthy, Booth (Mercer 77), Jarvis, M. Barnes (Kay 73), Allen (McEvilly 82); not used: McDonald, Galliers.