The Coasters exited the FA Cup after a 1-0 First Round Replay defeat to Gillingham FC, despite putting in a dominant display at Priestfield.
Gillingham found the game’s only goal just before the half-time interval after an overload at the back post left Lewis Walker free to finish past Chris Neal in the Fylde net.
Adam Murray made four changes for his first game in charge with Luke Conlan, Danny Whitehead, Will Hatfield & Joe Rowley replacing Tom Walker, Luke Burke, Danny Philliskirk and Danny Rowe from Saturday’s win over Darlington.
With preparation complete, Siya Ligendza made his way into the starting line-up to replace Luke Charman, who pulled up in the warm-up.
It was the Coasters who started the better of the two sides, on the front foot and looking to cause problems, and that led to Danny Whitehead being brought down on the edge of the area, allowing Nick Haughton to step up but strike over.
However, Gillingham started to press and test the Coasters’ backline, with Walker finding space in behind to blast over from just outside the area before the home side was then awarded a penalty.
A loose back pass from Curtis Weston presented Walker with a clear-cut chance in front of goal before he was eventually brought down by Alex Whitmore, with the referee harshly pointing to the spot. As Scott Kashket stepped up, he slotted wide of the mark.
It wasn’t a game where either side had taken hold, with the Coasters still seeing opportunities fall their way, this time through Siya Ligendza, who picked up the scraps from Chris Neal’s long ball upfield to let it bounce and volley inches wide.
As the game went quiet, the hosts managed to land a blow before the break when Walker capitalised on an overload at the back post and found the back of the net from inside the area.
Half-Time: Gillingham FC 1-0 AFC Fylde
Again Adam Murray’s men started brightly, from which they carved out an opening after some good, quick combination play between Curtis Weston and Haughton allowed the latter to test Turner from range, with the Gills ‘keeper tipping over with ease.
Haughton, again, was able to give Turner something to think about in the Gillingham goal when after nice build-up play, the midfielder cut inside and shot at goal, which Gills’ number 25 held well.
Gillingham then had a chance of their own when Kashket found space inside the six-yard box, but Chris Neal was there to charge off his line, narrow the angle and deny him with a strong leg.
The Coasters had adopted a lovely possession-based game, and it was certainly frustrating the home support before Emeka Obi found himself in unfamiliar territory to line up a fierce volley, though he ended up finding the chest and gloves of Turner.
It was certainly a display new Head Coach Adam Murray would have been proud of, and there was still one last chance for his side in the dying embers.
Luke Conlan threaded a wonderful through ball to Haughton for the midfielder to aim for substitute Keenan Patten in the six-yard box, though Turner was there to mop up once again for the home side before the Welshman could connect.
Full-Time: Gillingham FC 1-0 AFC Fylde
Gillingham FC: Turner, Alexander, Ehmer (45’ Wright), Williams, O’Keefe, McKenzie (66’ Mnoga), Jefferies (90’ Law), Walker, Green (66’ Reeves), Baggott, Kashket (82’ MacDonald).
Unused subs: Holtam, Mandron, Lee, Adelakun.
AFC Fylde: Neal, Obi, Whitmore, Bird, Conlan, Rowley (73’ Patten), Weston (62’ Philliskirk), Whitehead, Haughton, Hatfield, Ligendza.
Unused subs: McPartlan, Davis.