AFC Fylde vs Harrogate Town

National League North
vs
April 23, 2016
Score: 2 - 1

Match Report

AFC Fylde moved back up into second place in the National League North after a comfortable 2-1 victory over promotion hopefuls Harrogate Town.

Goals in either half from Danny Rowe and James Hardy lifted the Coasters above North Ferriby United in the table as they signed off from league football at Kellamergh Park in style.

Harrogate nicked one back in the final seconds through Warren Burrell but Fylde held on to claim all three points.

Dave Challinor made three changes to the side that was beaten by Tamworth a week ago with Matt Urwin replacing Ben Hinchliffe in goal whilst Matty Hughes and James Hardy came in for Josh Langley and Danny Lloyd.

There was a bright start in the Lancashire sunshine for the last ever league game at Kellamergh Park however the first real chance didn’t arise until the eighth minute when Rowe almost turned home from close range after having the ball deflected against him from a corner.

Rowe almost broke the deadlock five minutes later in spectacular fashion. Bohan Dixon stole the ball and Rowe jinked past three challenges but the goalkeeper got down well to his left to keep of his low effort.

The hitman was clearly in the mood and launched a vicious drive at the Harrogate goal from 20 yards that dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

The visitors appealed for a penalty shortly before the 20-minute mark when Jack Emmett slipped in the area, but referee Shaun Hudson wasn’t interested.

Some intricate play of the edge of the area after half an hour saw young midfielder Hardy presented with chance but his left footed strike only found the side-netting, much like Joe Colbeck’s header straight up at the other end.

Moments later and Harrogate had their best opportunity of the match so far when Tom Platt met Colbeck’s cross with an acrobatic overhead kick but his shot sailed just wide of the far post.

The deadlock was broken in the 39th and was a deserved opener for the hosts. Charles delivered a low cross into the Fylde area that broke to striker Rowe and he made space before firing low into the bottom corner via the post.

Lloyd Kerry had a late effort for Town, bending a strike just over the bar as the teams headed in for the break.

Harrogate had a wonderful chance to level the scores just three minutes after the interval when Jack Emmett saw his powerful strike blocked on the line.

Dion Charles raced away from the visitors’ backline seconds later but was thwarted by the sprawling Peter Crook. Matty Hughes was agonisingly close to adding his name to the scoresheet but his cross-shot flashed wide of the far post.

Danger man Rowe could have put Fylde further ahead just before the hour mark if he had managed to get a real connection on Hughes’ corner, instead the ball drifted harmlessly out for a throw.

Visiting frontman Kerry found himself clean through goal a minute later but goalkeeper Matt Urwin was equal to his low shot. Luke Shiels also had an attempt on the Fylde goal but his header was well over the bar.

There was a moment of panic for Harrogate when Charles drove into the box from the right but no one in a white could turn the ball home in a frantic scramble.

Harrogate survived another scare with 15 minutes to go when the ball dropped to Hughes six yards out but his reactive strike was pounced on by Crook.

However, their luck ran out on 78 minutes when Fylde doubled their advantage. Hardy picked up the ball and wrong footed the goalkeeper with a shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Towering midfielder Dixon tried an ambitious effort as the game drew to a close but the ball ended up in the carpark from 30 yards.

Harrogate grabbed a late consolation in the dying seconds when Burrell slotted past Urwin from 10 yards but the Coasters held on to see out the match.

AFC Fylde: Urwin, C. Hughes, Hannigan, Barnes, Crainey, Baker, Dixon, Hardy (86), Charles (70), M. Hughes, Rowe (82).

Subs: Hinchliffe, Dudley (86), Lloyd (70), Sloane, Blinkhorn (82).

Harrogate: Crook, Fallowfield (49), Swain (57), Platt, Shiels, McGurk, Colbeck, Burrell, Clayton (75), Kerry, Emmett.

Subs: Thewlis (49), Warren (57), Cadman, Foster, Gascoigne (75).

Att: 660

Ref: Shaun Hudson.