The Coasters remain five points clear at the top of the Vanarama Conference North after Caspar Hughes’ first goal for the club in the last minute of the game secured a valuable win at a snowy Solihull.
Hughes’ goal caused pandemonium within the Fylde ranks after his shot went between the Solihull keepers’ legs to silence the home crowd.
The game was closely fought with both sides having good chances to score but the conditions didn’t help either side with players from both teams slipping on a very wet surface.
Danny Rowe had several good chances for the Coasters with a shot from 15 yards stopped on the line by the keeper although it looked like it may have crossed the line. Fylde wingers Richie Allen and Danny Lloyd had a number of crosses penetrate the Solihull penalty area but struggled to find targets. For Solihull, good work from Omar Bogle and Darryl Knights saw the latter burst into the Fylde penalty area unmarked but instead of going for goal he laid the ball off to Ryan Beswick on the edge of the box but the Solihull striker blazed it way over the bar. The first half was a quiet affair by the Coasters’ standards with Rowe’s shot off the line being the only big chance for the visitors.
Solihull had the better of the second half and nearly took the lead when Darren Byfield’s effort from 18 yards clipped the top of the crossbar. The home side had a golden opportunity a couple of minutes previous when Tom Hannigan’s last ditch challenge prevented Bogle’s pass to Knights in the six yard box which would have almost been a certain goal.
The Coasters decided to make changes with 25 minutes to go with Liam Tomsett coming on for Josh Wilson and a couple of minutes later he was joined on the pitch by Michael Potts coming on for Joe Booth and Michael Barnes entering in place of Richie Allen.
Danny Rowe tried his luck from 35 yards with a well struck free kick that went just over the crossbar before going even closer after another free kick, this time a lot closer to goal, was deflected just wide of the right hand side of goal. Danny Lloyd whipped a low ball across the face of goal which only needed the slightest of touches to burst the net but couldn’t quite find a team mate.
In the final minutes Fylde went agonisingly close when Brad Barnes’ shot hit the crossbar after Solihull had cleared a chance for the Coasters.
But the travelling Coasters were sent into ecstasy when Hughes’ half volley went through the Solihull keeper’s legs to secure all three points for the Coasters which preserved their five point lead at the top of the table after Barrow earned a late win of their own at home to Hednesford Town.
After the match Coasters’ manager Dave Challinor said “I thought we deserved to win. I thought first half we were excellent apart from a five minute spell when Solihull came into it and put us under some pressure”.
“We came out well in the second half I felt the game became a bit like a basketball game end to end. I made some changes to try and get us a foothold back in the game and it looks like it’s going out to be a 0-0 draw which in fairness we wouldn’t have been overly displeased with and then we have a few chances and Caspar manages to half volley it in through the keepers’ legs which was his only real mistake of the night”.
When asked about the draw for the FA Trophy Chally said “We know obviously if we win (against AFC Telford United) then we go to Curzon to play FC United which will be a great game to play in, a great atmosphere on a really decent pitch. We know we’ve got a really tough game in a game that we’re realistically underdogs against a team from a higher division. Yes, we’d love to progress and I feel that whoever wins that tie whether it be AFC Fylde, Telford United or FC United will feel they’ve got a good chance in the next round”.
Solihull Moors: Breedon, Nottingham, Gough, Denny, Daly, Elvins, Byfield, English, Bogle (Moore 85), Beswick, Knights. Subs not used: Taundry,Acton,Fleet,Langdon
AFC FYLDE: Hinchliffe,Hughes,Langley,Hannigan,Sumner,Barnes (C),Booth (Potts 72),Wilson (Tomsett 68),Rowe,Lloyd,Allen (Barnes 76) Subs not used: Denson,Blinkhorn
GOAL: Caspar Hughes (90)
MOTM: Tom Hannigan