It proved to be a tough run out for The Coasters on a humid afternoon as they suffered their first defeat of their pre-season campaign against League One opposition in the form of Rochdale. Despite a valiant effort from some new faces and the old guard of Fylde players, they fell just short of being able to match the worthy winners of this contest.
The score line actually reflected the match for once; as Rochdale ran out winners due to a first half strike from Callum Camps just after the half hour mark and then a cool finish from Scott Tanser doubled Dale’s lead with around 15 minutes to play. Fylde managed to pull a goal back through trialist Chris Thomas with five minutes to play but The Coasters couldn’t find an equalizer in the minutes that followed.
The game gave the Coasters fans a chance to see some of the new arrivals in the flesh, namely Tom Hannigan and Michael Potts as well as new goalkeeper/coach Craig Dootson. There were also three trialists for Fylde who all performed quite well. Hannigan seemed to form a decent partnership with Josh Langley at back for Fylde but against tough opposition they were always going to concede as most teams rarely keep a clean sheet in a pre-season game.
Fylde started brightly, and Karl Noon saw Dale keeper Jonny Musanga off his line and attempted a shot from about 35 yards but it went agonisingly wide. After that, Dale had much of the possession and they made it count. Their first came after 34 minutes as the ball fell kindly to youngster Callum Camps who lashed the ball past Dootson in the Fylde goal and in all fairness they probably deserved it up until that point as they showed their class by passing their way around the pitch in an elegant way, much like The Coasters try to do may I add.
Into the second half, and Rochdale started the brighter again, keeping the ball really well, especially after start player Scott Hogan came on on the hour mark. Dale have recently received a bid for Hogan from Leeds United which shows his obvious class and potential. Soon after he came on, Dale had their second through Tanser who placed a shot past Dootson after a corner wasn’t cleared away.
The last ten minutes though were more exciting than the rest of the match. First, a Fylde corner was whipped in and Tom Hannigan’s thumping header crashed off the underside of the bar and out again. It looked like it may have crossed the line, but it was impossible to tell really without goal-line technology.
Then, a couple of minutes later trialist Chris Thomas, who only came on for the last ten minutes or so, found a way through the Dale defence and prodded home to half the deficit and keep The Coasters hope alive but in the end it wasn’t enough, and Rochdale secured their first win of their pre-season in their first game.
Match Rating: 3/5
AFC Fylde: Dootson, Denson, Sumner, Langley (68), Hannigan, B. Barnes (46), M.Barnes, Miller (Trialist) (61), Noon (61), Potts (46), Dodd (Trialist) (79).
Subs: Tomsett (46), Hughes (46), Booth (61), Blinkhorn (61), Gregory (68), Thomas (Trialist) (79), Hankin.
Goal: Thomas (Trialist).
Rochdale: Musanga, Rafferty, Bennett, McGinty (62), Eastham, Hery (79), Camps (62), Allen (79), Cannon (62), Park (79), Tanser.
Subs: Hasler-Clegg (79), Bell (79), Kisimba (79), Done (62), Hogan (62), Bunney (62), Colliss.
Man of the Match – Michael Potts