Match report: AFC Fylde 5 Tranmere Rovers 2

Fylde served up a five-star performance to avenge their 4-1 Boxing Day defeat by National League high-flyers Rovers.

Monday, 1st January 2018, 7:05 pm
Updated Monday, 1st January 2018, 7:10 pm
Jack Muldoon celebrates his goal

This resounding victory at Mill Farm moves Fylde up to 13th – their highest position since August.

Coasters boss Dave Challinor made two changes from the side that won at Maidenhead, with Andy Bond replacing the suspended Sam Finley and Matt Blinkhorn making way for Jack Muldoon.

Both sides made a blistering start in the driving rain as the action flowed. Muldoon almost got his toe to Jonny Smith’s low cross into the six-yard box in the opening minutes.

James Norwood was the first to threaten for the visitors when Ollie Norburn’s through-ball sent the forward racing in on goal but his lacklustre attempt was well collected by Jay Lynch.

The chances were coming thick and fast as Bond’s strike from 10 yards was palmed clear by Scott Davies

A succession of corners for the Coasters brought the opening goal. Smith’s free-kick from the left was fumbled by Davies and fell kindly at the feet of Danny Rowe, who poked his 13th league goal from point-blank range on 21 minutes.

Fylde were in control and added a second seven minutes later as Muldoon, scorer of the winner at Maidenhead 48 hours earlier, picked the ball up 50 yards out and fired in off the post from the edge of the area.

The Coasters were in dreamland and netted a third goal on 36 minutes. Another dangerous Smith cross was dropped by Davies, and although Muldoon’s sliced effort was heading wide, Zaine Francis-Angol scrambled home his first goal for the club at the back post.

Getting down low to Rowe’s long-range effort was the final action for Davies, who was brought off.

Full-back Adam Buxton fashioned a rare opportunity for the away side, when his 25-yard piledriver that was palmed away by Lynch.

After his two assists, Smith almost scored himself when a clearance deflected into his path in the box but substitute stopper Luke Pilling stuck out a strong arm.

Tranmere fans were heading for the exits when Fylde made it four on 55 minutes. Jordan Richards’ delightful cross from the right was expertly headed over the keeper by Jordan Tunnicliffe.

The visitors gave themselves a glimmer of hope seconds later when midfielder Ollie Banks curled home from the edge of the area.

Francis-Angol lashed an effort narrowly wide, while at the other end a fantastic reaction save from Lynch denied Andy Cook.

Norburn was lucky to escape with a booking after grabbing the throat of Jason Taylor and was substituted within a minute.

Goal number five arrived in the 90th minute, when Rowe’s cross caused confusion in the six-yard box and was inadvertently headed straight into the path of Serhat Tasdemir, who had the simple task of heading into an open goal.

There was still time for a consolation strike for the disillusioned visitors, when Connor Jennings was brought down by Simon Grand.

The Tranmere forward dusted himself down to convert the spot-kick down the centre of the goal.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Richards, Tunnicliffe, Edmundson, Grand, Francis-Angol, Montrose, Bond, Muldoon (J Taylor 63), Smith (Tasdemir 78), Rowe (Blinkhorn 90).

Subs not used: Burke, Ezewele.

Tranmere: Davies (Pilling 44), McNulty, Cole (Clarke 46), Banks, Jennings, Buxton, Norburn (Harris 76), Norwood, Cook, Ridehalgh, Sutton.

Subs not used: Hughes, McDonagh.

Att: 3,065

Ref: David Richardson