Coasters move to second spot

Rowe - grabbed the winner
Rowe - grabbed the winner

AFC Fylde 2, Bradford Park Avenue 1

Fylde climbed to second in Vanarama Conference North with this fourth successive victory, though a decent Bradford side were in last night’s match until the very end.

Fylde took the lead through a Liam Tomsett header after 20 minutes but Bradford levelled the contest through Scott Karr’s stunning half-volley.

Danny Rowe scored the winner early in the second half and the Coasters were able to hang on.

Fylde thought they had scored in the sixth minute when Tom Hannigan headed in Michael Potts’ free kick but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.

Chib Chilaka forced a good save from Fylde keeper Ben Hinchliffe in a brief spell of pressure from the visitors.

But then Fylde began to press hard, with Richie Allen missing two great chances to score from headers.

Mike Barnes’ effort direct from a corner was punched clear by Bradford keeper John Lamb but Fylde did score when Tomsett headed in Potts’ well-worked cross from the bye-line.

But Bradford started to grow into the game and Hinchliffe had to punch away a corner under pressure before Kerr’s superb strike on 40 minutes cannoned in off the underside of the crossbar.

The Coasters began the second period on top and within six minutes had restored their lead when Danny Rowe met Barnes’ cross with a powerful volley from 12 yards.

Chilaka almost forced a major blunder from Hinchliffe when he charged down the keeper’s clearance with 15 minutes to go but the ball sailed wide of the empty net, then in the dying seconds Hinchliffe caught Billy Priestley’s looping header.

Coasters boss Dave Challinor said: “We ground out a win, which was pleasing as we played better against Lowestoft, Stalybridge and Guiseley and came with nothing.”

Fylde now move on to a tricky away tie at Gloucester City on Saturday .

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hughes, Sumner, Langley, Hannigan, B. Barnes (C), Tomsett (Hankin 72), Potts, Rowe, M. Barnes (Denson 90+1), Allen (Lloyd 80); Subs not used: Booth, Charles.