The Coasters closed the gap on leaders Solihull Moors with a narrow 1-0 win over AFC Telford United and they did so with ten men for most of the game.
The game started quietly with the first major chance coming after fourteen minutes when Dion Charles’ effort from twelve yards was blocked off the line by Curtis Tilt, however the Coasters were infront less than sixty seconds later. Alex Whittle’s superb cross into the box was met by a bullet header from loanee Akil Wright for his second goal in two games.
Charles had two efforts in quick succession saved by Telford keeper James Montgomery as Fylde looked to hit their opponents with two quickfire goals. Fylde were reduced to ten men after just eighteen minutes when Sean Clancy was brought down by Sam Finley and the Coasters midfielder pushed Clancy after the Telford captain tried to make his way back to his feet.
Brad Barnes came off after twenty five muntes and was replaced by Dom Collins. The referee took his cards out of his pocket several more times during the first half booking Brownhill and Tilt for Telford and Richie Baker for the Coasters.
The second half started with the visitors creating several half chances but their final ball was often just lacking and Tom Hannigan did a fantastic job of clearing up at the back for Fylde.
Curtis Tilt had a looping header go over the bar from a corner and Kyle Brownhill had probably the best chance for Telford arrowing a shot just wide of the top right corner from the edge of the box. Fylde’s second change saw Caspar Hughes make way for Josh Wilson whilst Telford brought on Jordan Goddard for Mark Lees. Matty Hughes and Dion Charles had Fylde’s only big chances of the second half, Hughes having a shot blocked off the line by Hutchinson and Charles firing just over the bar after keeper Montgomery spilled the ball in the middle of the box.
Ryan Rowe had a powerful shot saved by Hinchliffe from twenty yards and the Bucks were not short of chances in the second half but their lack of goals scored this season was apparent as the final ball was often not executed well. Danny Lloyd came on with just two minutes to go for Matty Hughes.
The referee indicated a minimum of four minutes of added time and the only chance in this period was a volley from Telford’s Connor McCarthy which went way over the bar. The Coasters did well to keep possession late on and there was tangible relief as the final whistle sounded.
Fylde remain second in the Conference North and entertain Coleshill Town in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round next Saturday.
Hinchliffe,C.Hughes(59),Whittle,Baker,Hannigan,Barnes(c)(25),Charles,Finley(off 18),Blinkhorn,M.Hughes (89),Wright
Subs: Wilson (59),Rowe,Urwin,Lloyd (89),Collins (25)
Montgomery,Lees (62),Campion (88),Hutchinson,McCone,Tilt,Ashby,Brownhill,Glover,McCarthy,Clancy (C) (75)
Subs: Rowe (75),Anderson (88),Grogan,Goddard (62),Flint
MOTM: Alex Whittle