Match report: AFC Fylde 2 Torquay United 0

Danny Rowe heads home his second goal as AFC Fylde defeat Torquay United     Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Rowe heads home his second goal as AFC Fylde defeat Torquay United Picture: Steve McLellan

Striker Danny Rowe took himself top of the National League charts with both goals as AFC Fylde poured more misery on basement club Torquay United.

The Coasters hitman moved into double figures with a goal in each half to condemn the Gulls to a third straight league defeat as Fylde moved up a place in the table.

Dave Challinor made three changes to the side that was narrowly beaten at Aldershot Town last weekend, with Lewis Montrose, Henry Jones and Andy Mangan replacing Jason Taylor and suspended duo Sam Finley and Jack Muldoon.

Jonny Smith was in electric form from the off and went close to providing the opener when he cut inside his man and burst past the next before seeing his cross blocked by goalkeeper Vincent Dorel.

Top scorer Rowe nodded an effort straight at Dorel as the hosts started to pile on the pressure.

Jamie Reid had a glorious chance at the other end when he tricked his way past Jordan Tunnicliffe; however his tame left-footed strike was comfortable for Jay Lynch.

Fellow front man Jennison Myre-Williams found himself in an almost identical position moments later but, instead of blasting his effort at the near post with the goal gaping, he dragged his low effort wide of the far upright.

After a bright start, the match became a rather uneventful spectacle before a piece of magic from Rowe lit up a bitterly cold Mill Farm.

He beat his man down the left before cutting inside and drilling a fierce strike at goal that was turned around the post by Dorel.

Rowe wasn’t to be denied for much longer and put the Coasters ahead from the resultant corner shortly after the half-hour.

Jones’ corner was played back to the edge of the area where Rowe was lurking and the frontman made no mistake with a low strike across goal into the bottom corner.

Torquay’s threat had gone quiet but they came to life a minute before the break when defender Sean McGinty swung a leg at a teasing cross from the right; however Lynch got himself in the way to maintain the Coasters’ lead.

Montrose was first to try his luck after the interval; the crowd urged the stand-in captain to shoot from distance and he duly obliged with a fizzing effort that flashed narrowly wide.

The visitors almost capitalised on some slack play from Mangan when Liam Davis picked his pocket and broke clear only to scuff his low strike well wide.

The Fylde debutant nearly atoned for his earlier mistake with a vicious strike that had the crowd on their feet but it whistled just over from 15 yards.

The Coasters doubled their advantage moments later.

After Zaine Francis-Angol’s cross had been half-cleared, Luke Burke whipped the ball in from the right and Rowe nipped in front of his marker to head into the bottom corner.

The second goal seemed to sap all the life from the visitors and a low effort from McGinty that was palmed to safety by Lynch was their solitary chance in the final 15 minutes.

Fylde saw out the final moments with minimal fuss to make it six wins from seven games in all competitions.