AFC Fylde 2 Kidderminster Harriers 1: Late winner by Stephen Dobbie stretches unbeaten league start to seven for leaders
AFC Fylde bounced back from their FA Cup exit at Spennymoor and stretched their unbeaten start to the league campaign to seven games thanks to substitute Stephen Dobbie's late winner
Top scorer Nick Haughton weaved his way through to give the Coasters an early lead, and although Joe Foulkes thundered in an equaliser after half-time, the hosts made it six wins out of seven in National League North when Dobbie poked the ball into the bottom corner.
David Perkins and Jack Sampson returned to the starting side in place of Jordan Hulme and Ethan Walker. Joe Piggott was back on the bench after Covid, with fellow frontman Hulme dropping out of the matchday squad.
It was a blistering start to the game from the league leaders, with Jim Bentley’s side looking like they had a point to prove after Tuesday's first defeat of the season
A free-flowing move saw Haughton drive towards the 18-yard box and beat three men before calmly slotting his shot under Luke Simpson in the sixth minute.
The goal put an extra spring into Fylde’s step and Ben Tollitt fancied his chances from distance moments later but his effort sailed over the Kidderminster bar.
The visitors, who started the day in fifth place, looked for a response and Sam Austin seemed the most likely player to provide it, though he saw numerous attempts blocked by the Fylde defence.
Early substitute Jaiden White found himself free in the area but he too saw his quick-thinking strike blocked by the Coasters.
The final incident of the first half saw Sampson hacked down by former Fylde captain Lewis Montrose, who received a yellow card.
The Harriers had the first chance of the second half, when Amari Morgan-Smith met a cross from the left but headed over the bar.
Straight down the other end, Tollitt had his second chance after Sampson nodded the ball into the winger’s path, though his effort was blocked and cleared.
Kidderminster managed to find an equaliser after 50 minutes, when the ball flashed across the 18-yard box and was smashed into the top corner by Joe Foulkes, giving Chris Neal no chance in the Coasters goal.
Fylde nearly got an instant reply through Tollitt, who drifted inside and looked to curl one into the bottom corner, though Simpson saved.
The keeper then produced a superb double save to keep the visitors on terms.
Haughton squared the ball to Tollitt, whose shot was saved from 10 yards, then Simpson also kept out Haughton's follow-up effort.
But Fylde were not to be denied and Dobbie had only been on the field two minutes when he latched on to a through-ball, took one touch and beat the onrushing Simpson for an 84th-minute winner.
That's 19 points from a possible 21 for Fylde, who still lead Brackley Town on goal difference with a game in hand going into their two-week break from match action.
Fylde: Neal, Pike, Stott (Obi 76), Conlan, Joyce, Perkins, Haughton, Osborne (Piggott 66), Sampson (Dobbie 82), Tollitt; Subs not used: Nolan, Walker.
Kidderminster: Simpson, Foulkes, Cameron, Bajrami (Bell 87), Richards, Montrose (Lowe 72), Martin, Hemmings, Austin, Sterling (White 8), Morgan-Smith; Subs not used: Emery, Penny.
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