AFC Fylde 6 AFC Darwen 2: Full report and reaction
A first-half hat-trick from 16-year-old debutant Serhat Tasdemir guided AFC Fylde through to the third round of the Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy.
Tasdemir’s treble, coupled with a brace from Matt Blinkhorn and a freak goal from Richie Baker, put the Coasters six goals up before the Hallmark Security League club’s two consolation strikes in the second half.
Manager Dave Challinor named a strong side against a team which play three levels below Fylde, including nine of the squad that thrashed Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday.
After a couple of early attempts, the Coasters opened the scoring after just three minutes when Tasdemir was played through in acres of space and scored his first goal for the club in the bottom corner in style.
The lead was doubled just three minutes later and Tasdemir was again involved. His right-wing cross was laid off by Bohan Dixon for Blinkhorn to take a touch and slot home from 10 yards.
The teenager was running the show and had his second just 11 minutes in. Matty Hughes crossed from the right and Tasdemir guided a header across goal into the far corner.
Fylde extended their advantage further in bizarre fashion, when Baker’s corner from the right eluded everyone and curled straight into the Darwen goal.
Darwen fashion a rare chance midway through the half, when a deep cross found Alex Ralph on the edge of the area but his curling strike was headed off the line by Steve Williams.
The lively Tasdemir really should have had his hat-trick shortly before the half-hour mark but only managed a glancing touch on Blinkhorn’s cross and the ball drifted harmlessly wide.
The Coasters were awarded their first penalty of the season when Brandon Daniels was taken down by Kallum Banks.
Up stepped Tasdemir, and although his initial spot-kick was saved, the young midfielder reacted quickly to lap up the rebound for his hat-trick goal.
The Coasters took just two second-half minutes to add a sixth goal, when Tasdemir whipped in an inch-perfect cross for Blinkhorn to nod past the helpless goalkeeper.
Darwen were still searching for their moment of glory and were a whisker away when winger Conor Gaul flashed a free-kick narrowly wide of the left post.
The visitors got their consolation on the hour-mark, when Mohammed Nabeel glanced a header from a long free-kick out of the reach of Tony Thompson.
There was a moment of embarrassment for keeper Thompson moments later, when he attempted to beat his man on the six-yard line but Gaul got the better of him and lashed home the free ball.
Blinkhorn had his chance of a hat-trick when he was cleverly slipped in by Hughes. He looked to have rounded keeper Ben Proctor, who recovered to block his angled shot.
Late substitute Dan Bradley looked to get in on the act when he received the ball in plenty of space on the penalty spot but whipped his effort over the bar.
Darwen enjoyed some late pressure and only a fingertip save from Thompson and a header off the line prevented Gaul from adding to his tally.
Williams had to clear another off the line with the final kick of the game as the Coasters sailed through to the final eight of the competition.
Fylde boss Challinor sees value in the tournament. He said: “It’s a useful competition to get people game-time who maybe haven’t had that much and it’s a good chance to get some of our young lads involved in first-team football.
“They need to get minutes under their belt. It is a test for the likes of Blinkhorn and Baker. All we can ask them to do is go out, make good decisions, get through a game and help the young lads as well because those guys are going to look up to you.
“The attitude was good and fair play to Darwen – they did well in the second half to come back into it.
“It was a difficult night because a bit of rain and wind makes the pitch 100 miles per hour, but overall it was a good workout for everyone involved.”
AFC Fylde: Thompson, Walsh, Kennedy, Baker, Williams, Bond (Mangan 46), Hughes, Tasdemir (Bradley 81), Blinkhorn, Dixon, Daniels (Loftus 46); Not used:
Darwen: Proctor, Banks, Cunliffe, Turner (McDonald 69), L. McKenna (Allen 31), Wedge, Ralph, Nabeel, M. McKenna, Langford (Scott 57), Gaul; Not used: Cole, Fitton
Ref: Paul Marsden