AFC Fylde 2 Torquay United 3: New boy’s debut goal is in vain as Coasters slip to defeat

AFC Fylde's Jordan Williams
AFC Fylde's Jordan Williams

AFC Fylde were beaten by a clinical Torquay United side at Mill Farm despite seeing new signing Tom Walker score on his debut.

Torquay started quickly with Joe Lewis almost turning home a corner, only for the ball to go safely over Sam Hornby’s bar.

The Coasters grew into the game with new arrival Walker working hard on the left.

The first opportunity came when Danny Philliskirk caught an effort full on the volley but it went just wide of Lucas Covolan’s goal.

The game burst into life on 13 minutes as Walker announced himself in the best possible way.

He burst down the left-hand side before darting in and firing an effort from the edge of the box that gave the keeper no chance as it went in off the post.

Jordan Williams raced through in a similar position shortly afterwards but couldn’t produce the same finish.

The Gulls levelled on 15 minutes, however, as a corner landed perfectly for captain Asa Hall, who expertly steered a header into the bottom left corner.

Neill Byrne came close for Fylde after stepping out of defence but fired his left-footed shot from distance just over.

Torquay’s equaliser had boosted their confidence as they looked to get top scorer Jamie Reid involved – and he gave them a 29th-minute lead.

A deflected clearance fell kindly to Reid, who took a touch and fired home emphatically; just reward for the visitors’ positive first half.

The final act of the first half saw Lewis’ inviting cross skid across the face of the Fylde goal but without any Torquay player there to send it goalwards.

Going into the second half, the visitors started well once again but Fylde looked potent on the break.

Dan Bradley’s effort deflected out to Williams and he picked out Walker, whose close-range effort was cleared off the line.

Torquay had a third goal on the hour as Reid’s snapshot could only be palmed back into the box with Ben Whitfield alive to prod home the rebound.

Nick Haughton snatched at a cross and saw his effort bounce over the Torquay bar, while Luke Burke’s speculative effort from distance went wide of the target.

The Coasters made changes with Andy Taylor and Kurt Willoughby joining the action as they chased a way back into the game with a more attacking formation.

A cross into the box deflected into the path of Bradley, who rushed his effort and fired wide.

He made amends for the miss on 78 minutes as some fantastic wide play brought a brilliant cross into the box, for Williams to volley home.

This set up a grandstand finish as the Coasters threw caution to the wind and won a free-kick 25 yards out which Walker failed to capitalise upon.

Six minutes of added time saw Willoughby force Covolan into a smart stop but it was too little too late as Torquay headed home with a crucial three points.

AFC Fylde: Hornby, Jameson (Taylor 54), Byrne, Burke, Croasdale, Philliskirk, Haughton (Willoughby 68), Walker, Bradley, Williams. Subs unused: Lavercombe, Montrose, Craigen.

Torquay United: Covolan, Lewis, Hall, Lemonheigh-Evans, Reid (Keating 90), Lumbombo-Kalala (Little 79), Longridge, Warren, Cundy, Nemane (Andrews 79), Whitfield. Subs unused: MacDonald, Niate.

Referee: Peter Gibbons.

Attendance: 1,504.