Railway win puts Fylde firmly on track
AFC Fylde 5 Harrogate Railway 2
AFC Fylde’s Evo-Stik First Division North campaign is well and truly up and running after back-to-back victories.
Manager Kelham O’Hanlon kept the same side that beat Leigh Genesis on Monday and this first victory of the season at Kellamergh Park lifted his side to sixth.
Matt Lawlor scored his first competitive goal for the club in rather fortunate circumstances when his dangerous ball into the box flew into the top left corner to give Fylde the lead just seven minutes in.
Railway were frustrated after starting the game brightly and the visitors could count themselves unfortunate not to score themselves.
Their best chances fell to striker Duncan Bray and skipper Ian Gray as the Fylde defence came under intense pressure during the first half, Lawlor twice blocking efforts on the line to keep Fylde in front.
Fylde added the all-important second goal on the half hour, when midfielder Matt Mahoney threw himself at Joe Booth’s inswinging corner and glanced home a header.
It remained 2-0 until half-time, much to the visitors’ dismay.
Fylde came out in confident mood and the introduction of Jamie Milligan gave the Coasters an added lift as the pedigree midfielder sprayed pinpoint passes short and long.
They added a third goal when striker Tom Cahill opened his Fylde account on 67 minutes.
Milligan’s former Fleetwood Town team-mate tucked the ball home from Booth’s free-kick to the far post.
Cahill got in front of his marker and found the bottom corner from close range.
The visitors pulled one back when Duncan Bray fired in a quick free-kick which caught out Fylde’s defence and keeper Lewis Edge to nestle in the bottom top right corner on 79 minutes.
Within minutes, though, Fylde stepped up a gear again and Booth scored the goal of the game with five minutes left.
Spotting visiting keeper James Mann off his line, Booth’s looping shot from fully 40 yards dipped under the bar for an absolute stunner of a goal.
The Yorkshire side again rallied and Fylde gave away a soft goal from close range after failing to clear.
Liam Chapman picked up the loose ball in the box and made it 4-2 just as the clock ticked round to 90 minutes.
There was still time for Fylde to have the final word straight from the restart as substitute Michael Barnes added gloss to the win by racing clear of his markers and slipping the ball under the advancing Mann.
O’Hanlon was delighted, saying: “Back to back wins are great for us but Harrogate played their part in that game and put us under pressure early on.
“We scored at crucial times in the game and our goals were from different situations, which was a positive for us.
“Boothy’s strike would have graced any stage – a great strike from distance.”
Fylde team: Edge, Lawlor, Elderton, Doughty, Stringfellow, Kay, Booth, Mahoney, Cahill (Bell), Dodgson (Milligan), Walwyn (Barnes); subs not used: Stevenson, Hills; Att: 269.