AFC Fylde suffered a 3-0 defeat away at Oxford City on Saturday afternoon in the Vanarama National League.
Josh Parker’s penalty sent Ross Jenkins’ City ahead at half-time before Olly Sanderson hit a four-minute double late in the second half.
Adam Murray handed debuts to Max Conway and Nelson Khumbeni – who both signed from Bolton Wanderers, whilst Nick Haughton returned to the starting line-up. Danny Philliskirk captained the Coasters.
Fylde’s first chance came inside the opening nine minutes after goalkeeper Max Metcalfe’s long punt upfield was flicked on by Emeka Obi for Charman to chase onto, which the Coasters forward hit into the side-netting.
Looking for an opener, Charman pounced on Canice Carroll’s tame pass to play in Haughton – however, the Coasters’ midfielder could only strike over Chris Haigh’s crossbar. Haughton would then aim a free-kick from distance which was saved by Haigh.
Oxford City were awarded a penalty on the half-hour mark after Harry Davis fouled Rafferty Pedder in the box.
Parker stepped up, and from 12 yards, converted his penalty past Metcalfe to send the Hoops ahead.
Towards the end of the half, Parker whipped a free-kick from the edge of the box, which beat the wall and hit Metcalfe’s crossbar as the Coasters survived a scare.
Half-Time: Oxford City 1-0 AFC Fylde
Murray made two changes ahead of the second half, with Gold Omotayo and Jon Ustabasi replacing Obi and Danny Whitehead.
And the Coasters began brightly, with Kyron Gordon’s searching pass controlled well by Ustabasi – however, his cross was headed away from danger.
Soon after, Davis freed Conway to drive into space. His cross, aimed for Omotayo in the box, dropped to Charman, who could not keep his attempt on target.
Davis had some defending to do minutes later, thwarting Parker’s shot after Andre Burley burst into the box from his full-back position.
Khumbeni’s ball allowed Haughton to then turn his marker and run at the Oxford defence before forcing Haigh to tip his effort around for a corner. Pedder then glanced an unmarked header from Alfie Potter’s lofted ball at the back post, as the hosts threatened.
Haughton – who has already scored from his own half once this season – nearly did it again midway through the half after beating two Oxford players to shoot from his own half, but Haigh managed to tip the ball over at the last second.
Oxford enjoyed a positive passing move when Reece Fleet, Pedder and James Roberts combined well, though Ustabasi was able to retrieve possession before moving play onto substitute Rowley, who found Haughton, with Fylde’s number 10 arrowing a well-hit effort narrowly wide.
Fylde were two behind when the ball found its way through to Sanderson on 81 minutes, converting under Metcalfe.
And Sanderson scored again four minutes later, following in to score after Metcalfe was unable to hold Renny Smith’s shot, as the Coasters were defeated.
Oxford City: Haigh, Burley, Harrison, Roberts, Smith, Fleet, Carroll, McEachran (Coyle 81), Potter, Pedder (Fonkeu 87), Parker (Sanderson 75)
Unused Subs: Humphrey-Ewers, Moore
AFC Fylde: Metcalfe, Gordon, Davis, Obi (Omotayo 45), Graham, Conway, Khumbeni, Philliskirk ©, Whitehead (Ustabasi 45), Haughton, Charman (Rowley 66)
Unused Subs: O’Kane, Glynn