It was an unfortunate start to the season for The Coasters as they travelled to Solihull on the opening day and came back empty handed. A Stefan Moore double and a Tom Hannigan own goal saw Solihull take all three points at the Autotech Stadium in a 3-0 victory for the home side.
The Coasters nearly got off to the perfect start when a nice flick by new signing Sam Finley and then he fed the ball to Richie Allen via Caspar Hughes before Adam Sumner fired wide. A good early start for Fylde.
Solihull’s Andy Brown managed to get himself one on one with Coasters goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe early on but Brown’s shot was weak and straight at Hinchliffe.
A Solihull corner was played in, Daly headed the ball towards goal and it looked like Hinchliffe made a terrific save to deny the Solihull centre-half but the referee blew for a penalty. Richie Allen was standing on the line behind Hinchliffe and punched the ball over the bar to deny the goal.
Referee Mike D’aguilar subsequently sent Allen off and awarded the home side a penalty. Former Aston Villa man Stefan Moore put the ball past Hinchliffe although the Coasters keeper guessed the right way. Eighteen minutes played and the home side had the lead.
Five minutes later, Moore doubled Solihull’s advantage after a good low finish past Hinchliffe after good build up play between Darryl Knights and Moore. It was a counter attacking move after Fylde had the ball down the other end, but Moore broke away with the ball and eventually finished off a terrific move. The Coasters found themselves 2-0 down after just twenty-three minutes.
Boss Dave Challinor reacted by changing the formation, as well as bringing off Dom Collins and bringing on Danny Lloyd. Lloyd went out to the left hand side, while Caspar Hughes moved back to right-back.
Ryan Beswick was pulling the strings in midfield for the home side and he decided to have a shot at goal himself from thirty-five yards out but his effort went way over the bar and didn’t trouble Hinchliffe at all.
Straight down the other end and Fylde won a free-kick which was taken by Sumner and cleared straight back downfield towards the Fylde goal. All of the Coasters chances were being thwarted at the first attempt. Just before the break, Darryl Knights found himself in a good position but fired over when it was probably easier to hit the target.
The hosts started the second half much like the first half as they looked to get a third. This time, Andy Brown headed wide from a Michael Nottingham ball in from the right. Fylde really struggled to get to grips with going a man down and as a result, Solihull had plenty of the ball throughtout the game.
The Coasters tried to get back into the game and as a result, the game became more open with both sides creating plenty. Dion Charles went close for Fylde with an attempt that went just wide, before the home side won a free-kick down the other end which was headed over by centre-half Gareth Dean.
Danny Rowe was then fouled about 30 yards outside the Solihull box, and Rowe stepped up to take but his attempt went straight into the bottom of the wall. Moments later, Danny Lloyd nearly connected with a good pass from Brad Barnes but a defender got in the way to put it behind for a corner which eventually came to nothing.
Fylde did keep up the pressure and forced a number of corners early in the second half, but Sam Finley’s left footed shot ended the pressure as it went harmlessly wide. The Coasters were yet to really test Danny Lewis in the Solihull goal with all of their attempts off target.
Second half substitute Josh Wilson went ever so close to scoring and finding a way back into the game as he was played through by Finley but Wilson’s left footed effort came back off the post, and Danny Lloyd couldn’t put the rebound in as he hit his shot straight at Lewis. Moments later, Dion Charles did well to win a free-kick twenty yards out and The Coasters were certainly in the ascendancy. Lloyd stepped up to take with his left but his effort went just wide.
Solihull went after a third through Darryl Knights but his low effort was well kept out by Coasters keeper Hinchliffe and Moore put the rebound well over the bar. From a throw in down the left, Solihull went close again but Josh Wilson managed to get back on the line and clear away.
The home side then went close again through Jack Byrne who had only just come on as a substitute but he headed over the bar when it looked easier to score.
The home side got their third after eighty-two minutes when a corner came in from the left and Tom Hannigan put the ball past Hinchliffe by mistake to make sure that Solihull won the opening day fixture between the two sides. It was unfortunate for Hannigan and for Fylde who never recovered from going a goal and a man down.
Sub James Armson went close to adding a fourth with the final chance of the game for Solihull a couple of minutes later but his header was straight at Hinchliffe.
All in all it was a disappointing start to the season for The Coasters but there are forty-five games left and there are many better days to come. Up next is Hednesford Town at home on Tuesday evening.
Solihull Moors: Lewis, Nottingham, Franklin, Daly, Street ©, Dean, Moore (84), Walker, Brown (78), Beswick (73), Knights
Solihull Moors Subs: Byrne (73), Cowan, Armson (84), Gittings, Asante (78)
Goals: Moore (18, pen, 23) Hannigan O.G (82)
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Collins (26), Sumner, Langley, Hannigan, Barnes (c) C. Hughes, Finley, Charles (76), Allen, Rowe (60)
AFC Fylde Subs: Urwin, Wilson (60), Lloyd (26), Blinkhorn, Baker (76)
Red: Allen (17)
HT: Solihull Moors 2-0 AFC Fylde
Man of the Match: Adam Sumner