On a sunny afternoon in Cumbria, AFC Fylde got their pre-season schedule under way with a comfortable 4-1 victory over Evo-Stik Division One North Kendal Town.
From the start, the game was quite open with both sides attempting to get the ball down and pass to create opportunities. The surface was flat and very grassy, which at times meant it was difficult to move the ball quickly. Both sides created chances and were thwarted by good saves at either end or some early pre-season wayward finishing. The Coasters broke the deadlock on 20 minutes, some good interplay resulted in Adam Sumner joining the attack from left back, he got in behind Kendal’s defence and the ball was lifted to him. On the angle, he struck a sweet half volley past former Fylde shot-stopper Danny McDonald and into the far bottom corner.
Almost immediately, the coasters in their away red and blue stripes were on the offensive again. This time, the ball was played into trialist Chris Sharp who controlled and found Richie Allen down the left hand side, and one on one with his defender, he cut inside, went back outside and struck a crisp left foot shot into bottom corner with McDonald again left with no chance.
The remainder of the first half continued with open football though clear cut chances. Kendal got themselves back into the game just before half time. A free kick from the left was delivered into the penalty area and unmarked, Mark Jackson hooked the ball into the far corner. It was a sloppy goal to concede, and it gave the hosts some hope going into the second period.
At half time, the outfield ten players were substituted with only Ben Hinchliffe remaining on the field for the second half. It gave the Coasters fans their first opportunity to see Michael Potts and Tom Hannigan in an AFC Fylde shirt, and I’m sure they liked what they saw.
Fresh legs saw the tempo increase immediately and Fylde increased their lead early in the second period, trialist Curtis Haley controlling on the edge of the area and firing right footed low to the goalkeepers right.
The fourth and final goal followed a positive run down the left from Danny Lloyd, and a cross from the by line that was bundled in again by Haley, past two covering defenders on the line.
There were more opportunities, but the score line remained, the Coaster got onto a winning start and have a week to prepare for last season’s league two promotion winners Rochdale, as football returns to Kellamergh Park.
After the game, Chally commented “It’s always difficult pre-season and I don’t really look too much into results as teams are looking after what they need to do rather than worrying about you.
We got what we needed from the game, it’s the first forty five minutes game time into everyone’s legs and we’ll now have a tough couple of sessions before the home game next week.
There were plenty if trialists on show, and we will make decisions on them in the coming weeks. We’re almost there in terms of the squad but these lads have opportunities to show what they can do.
Ultimately, everything we do is focused towards August 9th and our opening game against Brackley which I’m sure everyone is looking forward to”.