Match report and reaction: Maidenhead United 1 AFC Fylde 2
Fylde came from behind to secure three huge points in Berkshire, despite having Sam Finley sent off late on for a second successive match.
Harry Pritchard opened the scoring from the penalty spot right on half-time, but second half goals from Lewis Montrose and Jack Muldoon lifted the Coasters four places to 15th in the Vanarama National LeagueHaving taken just one point from December's previous three league games, Fylde manager Dave Challinor made two changes, recalling midfielder Finley after his one-match suspension and experienced frontman Matt Blinkhorn for Jason Taylor and Serhat Tasdemir.A slow start followed a pre-match power outage at a dull York Road, where Remy Clerima almost lit up proceedings when he beat Montrose and played a one-two with Harold Odametey before firing tamely at Fylde keeper Jay Lynch.Magpies midfielder Pritchard headed narrowly wide as the hosts began to take the game to their opponents. How the Coasters didn’t open the scoring on 20 minutes remains a mystery. Danny Rowe let fly with a thunderbolt from 25 yards that crashed back off the crossbar into the path of Jordan Richards, who saw his shot saved before Finley’s powerful follow-up was blocked on the line by Jake Goodman. Montrose's eyes lit up when the ball dropped to him six yards out after a mistake by home keeper Carl Pentney but the midfielder's back-heeled effort was hacked off the line. At the other end, Odametey’s header reached Moses Emmanuel at the back post but Lynch was equal to his angled strike. Odametey was causing real problems for the visitors' defence and was a whisker from finding the top corner when he took aim from 20 yards on the half-hour.A quick Fylde breakaway then saw Finley release Jonny Smith, who flashed a strike across goal and narrowly wide. The hosts took the lead on the stroke of half-time, when a spot-kick was awarded for George Edmundson’s clumsy tackle on Emmanuel and Pritchard stepped up to fire down the middle of the goal.Zaine Francis-Angol’s last-ditch challenge prevented Emmanuel doubling the lead after the break, then at the other end winger Smith beat two before shooting straight at Pentney. A Coasters equaliser was looking more likely as a sensational stop from Pentney denied Jordan Tunnicliffe from point-blank range.But the keeper was helpless on 71 minutes, when he smartly kept out Tunnicliffe's header from a Smith corner only for Montrose to poke the rebound over the line. Top scorer Rowe had several attempts for a 13th goal of the season which would have been unlucky for Maidenhead but it was Muldoon who completed the turnaround seven minutes from time.The substitute controlled Rowe's flick before firing into the bottom corner from 20 years. A minute later captain Finley was dismissed on receiving a second yellow card, just as he had been against Ebbsfleet a week earlier, though this time he appeared to win the challenge cleanly.
AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor praised his side’s display despite adversity at Maidenhead.The Coasters boss said: “I’m absolutely delighted with the result. I don’t think we had the referee on our side because it was never a penalty. “That was a poor decision which on another day could have cost us. I don’t ever have a go at referees because it is a tough job but decisions like that can cost people their jobs, so they have to be right.“We should have already been in front before they scored. You will never see two goalmouth scrambles like that where the ball doesn’t end up in the net. “Their keeper has made an unbelievable save after Rowey has hit the bar and then the defender has cleared another off the line with his chest. God only knows how we didn’t score. “We could have been forgiven for feeling sorry for ourselves but we weathered the storm and played against the wind and slope. “In the second half we improved and thoroughly deserved the win. We had plenty of chances and scored two really good goals. Performances have been okay recently but results haven’t been going our way, so to dig in and come away with three points a long way from home was massive.” Fylde now look to avenge their 4-1 Boxing Day drubbing at Tranmere in Monday's return fixture at Mill Farm.AFC Fylde: Lynch, Richards, Tunnicliffe, Edmundson, Grand, Francis-Angol, Montrose, Finley, Smith (J. Taylor 86), Rowe (Bond 88), Blinkhorn (Muldoon 65). Subs not used: Tasdemir, Ezewele.Maidenhead: Pentney, Clerima, Steer, Odametey, Massey, Emmanuel (Mullen 74), Marks, Pritchard, Kilman (Clifton 74), Goodman (Peters 66), Smith.Subs not used: Upward, Comley.Att: 1,315Ref: Samuel Allison