AFC Fylde’s pursuit of a fourth Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy title in six seasons suffered a minor scare at home to Radcliffe Borough. The visitors lead at half-time but Fylde made a better fist of the second period and ran out 5-2 winners.
The game sprung into life on three minutes when the visitors were awarded a penalty. Sam McMahon stepped up only to see his initial effort saved by Urwin in the Fylde goal. The front man McMahon followed up and tucked away the rebound to make the score 0-1 and put the Coasters right up against it early on. The next meaningful attempt came on 10 minutes and again fell to the visitors, Fitzgerald turned well and forced Urwin into a terrific save low to his left. Two minutes later Josh Wilson had a header wide as the Coasters tried to get back into the game. They almost did shortly after, as Versallo rounded the keeper only to be forced too wide to get a meaningful effort on goal.
Josh Wilson again came close to levelling the score after 20 minutes following a deep corner from the right hand side. Cheetham in the Radcliffe goal was equal to it on that occasion. Wilson got his goal a couple of minutes later. Rowe knocked down a deep Hughes cross and Wilson was there for an easy tap in to make the score 1-1.
The lively Wilson was involved again as Fylde went in search of another, this time he turned provider for Rowe, his attempt was well blocked behind for a corner. Fylde were denied a goal on 33 minutes Versallo neatly tucked the ball away only to see the linesman’s flag on.
Radcliffe Borough re-took the lead a minute later. McMahon grabbed his second of the game after neat work down the right. A low ball came into the box and the striker calmly slotted home to make the score 1-2, Alex Whittle got the last touch but McMahon will certainly claim it.
The Coasters tried in vain to equalise before the break, a couple of half chances came and went mostly from low balls into the box. Rowe tested Cheetham form distance in first half stoppage time but the visitors held firm and went in at half-time ahead.
Fylde made one change at half-time, Caspar Hughes entered the action for the departing Liam Gibson. Fylde quickly levelled the score after the break. Danny Rowe scored a firm header in the top corner after a good cross from the substitute C. Hughes. Rowe almost got his second on 51 minutes but was again denied by Cheetham to keep the score at 2-2.
Rowe was in the thick of the action early in the second period and had a big chance to put Fylde in front, the ball fell kindly for the striker but he blazed his effort well over much to the relief of the Radcliffe defence.
Fylde earned a penalty of their own on 69 minutes after Versallo was brought down in the box. Danny Rowe stepped up and smashed it straight down the middle to give the Coasters the lead for the first time in the tie.
Radcliffe tried to respond quickly but a Forbes header was easily saved by Urwin. Fylde started to really dominate possession after they went in front and looked the most likely to add to the scoring heading into the last 15 minutes. Although the visitors had loud shouts for another penalty waved away after C. Hughes brought down the dangerous McMahon.
Danny Lloyd came on for the last 13 minutes, replacing the impressive M. Hughes. Ben Holmes made things comfortable for the Coasters as the game came towards its conclusion with a well taken goal. The ever involved Rowe produced a neat flick which allowed Holmes to score his first for the Coasters.
Rowe got his second assist of the game putting the ball on a plate for Akil Wright to join Holmes on the scoresheet for the first time. The score looked much more comfortable at 5-2 with less than 10 minutes to go than it did just a few moments earlier.
Fylde comfortably played out the closing stages and after an initial scare ran out 5-2 winners. A Man of the Match performance from Danny Rowe helped guide the Coasters home. The striker bagged two for himself before providing two more goals for his teammates as Fylde advance to the second round.
AFC Fylde: Urwin, Gibson (45), Whittle, Sumner ©, Collins, Wright, Wilson, Holmes, Rowe, M. Hughes (77), Versallo
Subs: Hinchliffe, C. Hughes (45), Finley, Charles, Lloyd (77)
Goals: Wilson (22) Rowe (49, 69) Holmes (80) Wright (83)
Radcliffe Borough: Cheetham, Middleton, Mckenzie, R. Smith ©, Forbes, McGrath (52), Rokka (60), Landregan (81), McMahon, Hulme, Fitzgerald
Subs: Burey, Hindle, Davies (60), M. Smith (81), Valentine (52)
Goals: McMahon (3, 34)
MOTM: Danny Rowe