Match report: AFC Fylde 3 Dover Athletic 1

Danny Rowe got AFC Fylde on level terms    Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Rowe got AFC Fylde on level terms Picture: Steve McLellan
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AFC Fylde leapfrogged visitors Dover Athletic and regained their place in the play-offs with a convincing 3-1 victory at Mill Farm.

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The Coasters had lost their place in the top seven of the National League table after back-to-back defeats.

However, goals from Danny Rowe, Serhat Tasdemir and James Hardy cancelled out Mitch Pinnock’s opener and ensured that Dover boss Chris Kinnear’s 1,500th game as a manager ended in disappointment.

Fylde boss Dave Challinor once again shuffled his pack, making four changes to the side beaten by Guiseley.

Jack Muldoon and Henry Jones came in for James Hardy and Jonny Smith, while Andy Bond and Jason Taylor replaced Sam Stubbs and Luke Burke.

The visitors enjoyed some early pressure as a loose ball inside the box almost fell kindly to Pinnock; however Jay Lynch was quickly off his line to claim at his feet.

Rowe had a real chance for the Coasters when picked out by Sam Finley’s pass but, like his opposite number, goalkeeper Mitch Walker made a fine save.

A storming run from Jordan Tunnicliffe saw the Fylde centre-half evade three challenges before slipping in Muldoon, who couldn’t quite beat Walker to the ball.

Taylor, still awaiting his first goal for the club, stung the palms of Walker with a vicious half-volley as the hosts’ momentum started to build.

Dover looked content to sit back after a bight start and Liam Bellamy was well over the bar with a rare opportunity.

There was little in the game as the clock edged towards half-time although both sides had chances to nick the opener.

Finley’s left-footed strike from the 18-yard line almost squirmed underneath Walker, while Ryan Bird dragged a strike just wide of the far post up at the other end.

Fylde were defending resolutely and Simon Grand’s last-ditch block shortly after the break prevented Bird’s strike from troubling Lynch.

Despite offering very little going forward since the restart, it was the visitors who took the lead on 57 minutes.

Josh Passley beat Zaine Francis-Angol down the left before delivering a delightful cross to the back post that was harder to miss for Pinnock.

The home side knocked on the door on the hour mark with a succession of corners – Tunnicliffe’s glancing header the closest they came to finding an elusive equaliser.

Grand thought he had it moments later when his strong header arrowed goalwards, only to smack Walker clean in the face on the line.

It was going to take a moment of magic for the Coasters to drag themselves back into the contest and Rowe didn’t disappoint.

With just 20 minutes remaining, he sold his marker before nicking the ball past another challenge and placing a fine left-footed strike into the corner from 18 yards.

The comeback was completed eight minutes later when Tasdemir, introduced five minutes previously, took a couple of touches on the edge of the box before lashing a low shot past Walker.

Tunnicliffe saw a looping header cleared off the line by Bird before Francis-Angol’s effort was well parried.

The result was finally put to bed in added time when Tasdemir’s effort came back off the post with Hardy on hand to slot home.