AFC Fylde picked up their second win of the season with a hard fought 2-1 victory over a resolute Bradford Park Avenue side.
First half goals from Dion Charles and a Jon Stewart own goal resulted in The Coasters taking three points on a wet evening in Bradford. Charles gave Fylde the lead with a low left footed drive past the helpless Stewart, before a terrific individual goal from James Walshaw with a volley brought the game level.
Just before the half-time whistle however, The Coasters re-took the lead through an own goal from BPA’s goalkeeper after a penalty box mele and that’s the way it finished to give The Coasters the three points.
James Walshaw had the first shot in anger for the home side as he found space twenty-five yards out after a ball in from the right. He took a touch before firing just wide of Ben Hinchliffe’s left hand post.
The home side had started the game brightly, and the former Leeds United & Brighton & Hove Albion forward Seb Carole tested the resilience of keeper Ben Hinchliffe, but Hinchliffe was equal to it and took the ball comfortably.
But it was The Coasters who took the lead through the a man in scintillating form, Dion Charles. Charles scored a brace against Gainsborough in the previous game and added another to his collection after eleven minutes with a fine left footed low strike to beat Stewart at his near post. 1-0 to Fylde.
Michael Potts, now plying his trade at BPA after a year at Fylde last season was the next home player to test the nerves of the Coasters defenders. A fantastic team move resulted in Pursehouse getting in behind Sumner down the right and he found Potts who fired straight at Hinchliffe from a couple of yards out. A close shave for The Coasters
Immediately down the other end however, Tom Hannigan came very close to giving Fylde a two goal advantage after putting the ball wide from a corner down the left. Hannigan managed to find a yard of space in the penalty area but fired wide, although he was under a considerable amount of pressure from a number of BPA players.
Latest signing Jason St. Juste started, and it took him a while to get into the rhythm of the game, but thirty-five minutes in he started to show his quality. He ghosted past Alex Pursehouse before firing across the face of goal, only for Dion Charles to fly in at the back post and fire wide.
The equalizer for the home side came after forty-two minutes from summer signing James Walshaw, as he crashed in a terrific left footed shot from 20 yards out that flew past Hinchliffe into the back of the net. It came somewhat against the run of play and there looked to be a hint of handball involved, but BPA were level just before half-time.
But before the half-time whistle could be blown, The Coasters took the lead again. A corner came in from the left and it was headed at goal by Danny Rowe. It looked as if the goalkeeper Jon Stewart had collected the ball, but somehow he pushed it onto the bar, and it was then fumbled over the line by the goalkeeper. Confusion then rained as to which player to award the goal to, but we’re fairly sure it was an own goal by Stewart.
The Coasters started the second half as they ended the first, on the attack and going close to a third goal. Danny Rowe collected the ball and he twisted and turned his way past a defender before shooting at goal, Stewart parried and Brad Barnes put the ball over the bar on the follow up from a couple of yards out.
The home side went even closer to scoring moments after as James Walshaw connected with an Adam Mather cross from the left and Walshaw put the ball the other side of Hinchliffe, but it also missed the post and went wide.
Simon Ainge hit a rasper towards Hinchliffe’s goal with twenty-five minutes to go, and although the ball bounced awkwardly in front of the keeper, he dealt with it and held on well to deny the BPA captain an equalizer. The second half was a more toned down version of the first half with fewer chances for both sides, but Fylde dealt well with the early second half threats from the home side.
With twenty minutes to go, Coasters boss Dave Challinor decided to give summer singing Matty Hughes his Coasters debut as Dom Collins had to go off with an injury. This would be testing times for Fylde, as right sided player Dion Charles was pushed back to right-back.
Sub Danny Schofield stung the palms of Coasters keeper Hinchliffe from a good thirty-five yards out with just ten minutes to go, but that was as close as the home side got to a late equalizer.
Coasters sub Danny Lloyd went close to making it a two goal advantage with just five minutes to go as he hit a ferocious shot towards goal but Stewart palmed the ball out to safety. With just a couple of minutes to play, Lloyd got in down the left again and forced a save by Stewart.
BPA captain Aigne tried his luck again from a distance of about forty-yards out but it sailed harmlessly wide and Bradford couldn’t muster up a decent chance in the remaining minutes to level the game.
A second win of the season for The Coasters who managed to see the game out and pick up the three points in an impressive away display.
Bradford Park Avenue: Stewart, Pursehouse, Mather, Dean (65), Clayton (18), Ainge ©, Carole (62), Marshall, Walshaw, Potts, King
Subs: Marshall, Walker (62), Chilaka, Burgin (18), Schofield (65)
Goals: Walshaw (42)
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Collins (70), Sumner, Langley, Hannigan, Barnes ©, Charles, Finley (75), Rowe, Wilson, St. Juste (66)
Subs: Lloyd (66), Urwin, Blinkhorn, Baker (76), Hughes (70)
Goals: Charles (11) Stewart OG (45+2)
Yellow: Sumner (62)
HT: Bradford Park Avenue 1-2 AFC Fylde
Man of the Match: Bradley Barnes