GAINSBOROUGH TRINITY 0
Fylde scored a goal in each half as Sam Finley poked home from a corner, then before Rowe rifled in a stunning shot to seal the points.
The win moved Fylde above Nuneaton into fourth place in Vanarama National North and closed the gap on leaders Solihull Moors (beaten by second-placed North Ferriby) to four points.
Manager Dave Challinor named the same starting line-up that had beaten Chorley the previous weekend and the Coasters got off to a blistering start, with Danny Lloyd and Rowe causing the hosts plenty of problems.
It was Lloyd who fashioned the first real chance, when he latched on to Rowe’s flick-on but could only direct his right-footed effort in to the arms of keeper Jan Budtz.
Fylde were looking dangerous at set-pieces and Josh Langley had a header saved amid a flurry of corners.
Finley tried his luck on 19 minutes, when he fired a left-footed volley towards goal, but it was comfortable for Budtz.
Wilson tried an equally ambitious effort but was high and wide.
Gainsborough, who had rarely threatened in the early exchanges, went close when Nathan Jarmen connected well with a free-kick from the right but Ben Hinchliffe was well positioned to save his header.
The opener duly arrived on 26 minutes and it could have been avoided from the hosts’ point of view.
Dion Charles forced Stephen Brogan into conceding a needless corner and Finley gleefully took advantage, stabbing home the loose ball from Lloyd’s inswinger.
The visitors could have doubled the advantage moments later, when Charles swept the ball over the bar from Rowe’s low cross.
Gainsborough defender Josh Lacey attemped to find the equaliser on 37 minutes, when he danced into the area unopposed, but his left-footed strike barely reached keeper Hinchliffe.
Lloyd was brought down by Lacey when clean through on the stroke of half-time and there were shouts for a red card, but the Gainsborough man escaped with a yellow and Josh Wilson’s free-kick was well saved by Budtz.
Wilson went close again seconds before the break, when he glanced a header narrowly wide of the post from Richie Baker’s cross.
The Coasters carried their momentum into the second period and captain Tom Hannigan was agonisingly close to nodding the visitors further ahead from Baker’s corner.
Home striker Anthony Wilson limped off five minutes after the restart with a suspected hamstring injury.
Worse followed for Steve Housham’s side when Rowe deservedly doubled the Coasters’ lead on 58 minutes.
The hitman picked up the ball on the left before cutting inside and rifling a thunderbolt past a hapless Budtz.
Only a top save from the Gainsborough stopper denied Hannigan extending the lead from point-blank range on 62 minutes.
Six minutes later and Charles could have put the fixture to bed. The young winger tricked his way into the box but his left-footed strike was wide of the far post.
With just over 10 minutes to play, there was a welcome return to action for Fylde’s Brad Barnes and Matty Hughes, who have both been out with injuries.
The final opportunity fell to the home side, when Jarmen curled a vicious strike goalwards. However, Hannigan was on hand to deflect the ball around the post.
It’s a short turnaround for Fylde, who will make a third attempt to play their FA Trophy first round replay away to Skelmersdale United on Monday (7.45pm).
Dave Challinor said he was “delighted” to reach the personal landmark of 150 wins as Fylde manager.
Challinor, who took the reins in November 2011, said of the milestone victory at Gainsborough: “I think it’s taken less than 250 games, so that’s very pleasing and something we are proud of.
“Those victories have lifted us up through the leagues during the four years Colin (Woodthorpe, assistant manager) and I have been here.
“We are going to have to win a lot more games between now and the end of the season if we are to achieve our goal.
“Results went for us this weekend and it’s very tight at the top, so we need to kick on and continue to close that gap.
“Gainsborough is a difficult place to come and they have a decent home record, but we put in a very good performance.
“We could have probably been further ahead and the second goal relatively early in the second half made it quite comfortable for us. It was then just a case of seeing the game out.
“I don’t remember Ben (Hinchliffe) having any real saves to make, so we were efficient at both ends of the pitch.”
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, C. Hughes, Langley, Hannigan, Crainey, Wilson, Baker (Hughes 79), Finley, Charles, Lloyd (Barnes 79), Rowe (Blinkhorn 85).