AFC Fylde 1 Gloucester City 0: First-half goal extends Coasters' undefeated start
Joe Piggott’s first-half strike was the difference at Mill Farm on Saturday, as AFC Fylde maintained their unbeaten league start with three points against Gloucester City.
A game that presented numerous chances for the Coasters saw Piggott score the only goal when he slotted past Jake Cole on the stroke of half-time.
Fylde boss Jim Bentley made three changes from the draw at Alfreton Town as Piggott, Danny Philliskirk and Ethan Walker replaced Emeka Obi, Jack Sampson and Stephen Dobbie in the starting XI.
The first real chance of the game came for the Coasters when Nick Haughton floated a free-kick into the Gloucester City area.
The set-piece was cleared, but only to Philliskirk who tested Cole with a fierce effort.
A well-worked corner routine saw Haughton find the unmarked Luke Joyce at the back post, though he headed straight at Cole.
Bentley’s players piled the pressure on as Haughton tested Cole from distance before Walker fired inches wide from Ben Tollitt’s superb pass.
Haughton went down inside the area but, instead of a penalty, Fylde saw their man booked for what the referee deemed a dive.
However, the pressure told eventually when Piggott found space inside the area, drifted past his marker and slid the ball home to give the Coasters the lead with the break approaching.
Looking to carry on where they had left off in the second half, the Coasters came out firing in an attempt to double their lead.
Tollitt found space inside the area and drilled the ball towards goal, only to see his shot blocked.
Gloucester began to get on the ball a little more in the second half but, although Max Sheaf burst down the right and looked for Matt McClure in the area, his cross went straight out of play.
At the other end, Philliskirk sliced wide of the target after he had ventured forward and attempted to double Fylde’s lead.
Walker danced his way through the Gloucester defence and seemed certain to score, but the onrushing Cole denied him before Piggott’s effort from the rebound was cleared off the line by Ryan Galvin.
Bentley’s players came close to establishing a two-goal cushion but Haughton fired narrowly wide before going close again moments later from David Perkins’ clipped ball.
Then, with only a few minutes left, Fylde’s hearts were in their mouths when Kevin Dawson was left unmarked at the back post.
His header rippled the side netting, though, meaning the Coasters claimed a well-earned three points.
AFC Fylde: Neal, Conlan, Whitmore, Stott, Philliskirk, Perkins, Joyce, Tollitt (Shaw 79), Haughton (Obi 90), Walker, Piggott (Sampson 79). Subs not used: Osborne, Dobbie.
Gloucester City: Cole, Chambers-Parillon (King 62), Sheaf, Leadbitter, Galvin, Tomlinson, Dawson, Robert, Nugent, Mensah (Young 46), McClure (O’Sullivan 81). Subs not used: Armstrong, Thompson.
Referee: Ben Wyatt.
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