AFC Fylde 1 Rushall Olympic 3

Dave Challinor
Dave Challinor
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AFC Fylde’s slim hopes of gaining home advantage in the play-off semi-final were dashed last night.

Ahmend Obeng struck twice either side of Dave Walker’s two-yard tap-in before Jimmy McCarthy headed one back for the home side 21 minutes from time for a hint of a fight-back.

But once Mike Taylor saw red late on for a dangerous lunge on Obeng, that chance was well and truly gone.

Fylde boss Dave Challinor rested a lot of his first-choice players ahead of next week’s play-offs but was still disappointed by result.

Challinor said: “I challenged the lads at the start of the game to go out and give me some decisions to make with regards to who I play next Tuesday.

“I stand by my decision to making the changes I did as I wanted to make sure the lads were right for next Tuesday.

“My biggest disappointment from this game was that the players made it easy for me as to who I should pick next week.”

In terms of the performance, Challinor added: “Defensively we were all over the place and it was an eye-opener for some of our lads. There are players who played tonight that have been here all season and done themselves no favours whatsoever.”

Despite the defeat, he is still very optimistic for the play-offs and finished by saying: “The one positive to come out of tonight’s game was that there was nothing on it for us.

“Although we want to finish as high up as we can I had more or less accepted that we would be away in the two games in the play-offs.

“More importantly for us is that the lads who are likely to play are rested, fit and ready for Tuesday’s game.”

The game started slowly as both sides struggled to create anything of note.

The first real chance came on 18 minutes and it resulted in Rushall’s first goal. Glenn Steel lost the ball in a dangerous position on the right of his box and Obeng had time and space to slot in,from a tight angle despite a valiant effort from Ben Hinchliffe.

Three minutes later, the visitors grabbed a second when Walker tapped in with his shin from two yards after the ball slid under Hinchliffe’s body and into his path.

Fylde finally had their first half-sight on goal on 27 minutes when Adam Carden’s shot was blocked on the edge of the box and Harry Winter’s cross was too close to Rushall keeper Chris Gemmell.

Five minutes later and James Dean managed to get his head on to a deep cross from Luke Denson but his header was too weak.

Obeng netted a fantastic third goal on 56 minutes chipping the ball over the spread-eagled Hinchliffe to make it 3-0.

The Coasters did get on the scoresheet in the 69th minute when McCarthy headed in.