The AFC Fylde Youth Team succumbed to a 4-1 defeat at home to Chesterfield’s Academy on Monday evening in front of a decent crowd at Kellamergh Park.
Playing in the FA Youth Cup Second Round proper and against Football League opposition for the first time ever was have been a fantastic experience for the youngsters but Chesterfield proved to be too strong an opponent on this occasion.
Jake Higham managed to the score back to 3-1 midway through the second half but goals from Tope Fowodu, Jordan Walshaw, Jake Beesley and Lawrence Maguire was the difference in the end.
Both sides started fast and determined to stamp their authority on the game early but neither could get that early lead that would settle either side down.
Ryan Charnley dragged a shot wide inside four minutes before Rhyle Ovenden hit the bar with a tight-angled free kick five minutes later for the visitors.
Charnley and Regan Linney shot wide within seconds of each other before efforts from Beesley and Fowodu went the same way for The Spirites.
But despite an impressive start, Fylde fell behind to a well-worked goal which saw Fowodu fire between Lee Squire’s legs and in on 32 minutes.
And three minutes later it got worse as Walshaw played a neat one-two with Beesley on the edge of Fylde’s area which allowed him time and space to angle a strike into the top corner to double Chesterfield’s lead.
The Coasters almost pulled a goal back before the break when Joey Mullen’s low strike was deflected wide, Charnley fired two long-range free kicks wide and Jack Williams saw a shot deflected over the bar in stoppage time.
Fylde continued to press early in the second half but the only chance of note for the visitors came when Squires dived well to his right to palm a Lewis Sugden cross out of the path of Beesley five minutes in.
However, Williams had a gilt-edged chance to half the deficit when he beat the offside trap to go through on goal only to send his strike across the face of the goal and wide.
And within seconds Chesterfield had countered and added their third – Beesley getting on the score sheet with a comfortably taken goal into the bottom corner of Squires’ net.
That goal could have knocked the wind out of Fylde’s sail but they continued to press and go in search of a way back into the game. And they found it on 63 minutes after some excellent footwork in the box from Williams allowed substitute Jake Higham the chance to find the back of the net at the second attempt to make it 3-1.
But any thoughts of a comeback was wiped out eight minutes later when captain Lawrence Maguire restored Chesterfield’s three goal advantage with 19 minutes remaining, rising highest to get the final touch on an in-swinging corner.
From that point on it was the visitors who had the better chances to add to their total, partly aided by a straight red card for Linney eleven minutes from time for an off-the-ball incident with the Chesterfield full back. Walshaw smacked the base of the post before Squires turned away Martel Daswell’s fine strike in the final minute.
So the FA Youth Cup run is over for Stewart Clitheroe’s side for another season but the players can hold their heads high after making history for the club yet again and producing what has been some fantastic performances over the past few weeks.
AFC Fylde: Squires, J. Anderson (Corbett 76), B. Anderson, Futter, Rowe, Young, Charnley (Forshaw 82), Ing (Higham 56), Williams, Mullen (C), Linney; Subs not used: Crook, Brown.
GOAL: Jake Higham (65)
YELLOW: Joey Mullen (11), Owen Futter (75)
RED: Regan Linney (79)
Chesterfield: Wright, Massey, Randle (Daswell 62), Sugden, Holmes, Maguire (C), Walshaw, Coy, Beesley, Fowodu (Morrison 76), Ovenden (Hudson 62); Subs note used: Smith, Milner.
GOALS: Tope Fowodu (32), Jordan Walshaw (35), Jake Beesley (53), Lawrence Maguire (71)
YELLOW: Mason Coy (90+1)
AFC Fylde MOM: Owen Futter