AFC Fylde vs Stranraer FC

1st Team Friendly
Fri 8th July 2016
Score: 0 - 2

Match Report

AFC Fylde slipped to defeat against Scottish side Stranraer in their first outing of pre-season after first-half goals from Calvin Kemp and Craig Malcolm.

Stranraer’s were two weeks ahead in terms of pre-season preparations and the difference in fitness told as the visitors claimed victory.

The match gave Fylde fans a first glimpse of star signing Brendon Daniels and he fashioned the first opportunity of the evening when his whipped cross from the left flashed across goal to safety.

Stranraer took a shock lead after just 10 minutes when striker Kemp was played through on  goal and put his foot through the ball to finish into the far corner.

Sam Finley really should have levelled the scores moments later when James Hardy flicked the ball through but the midfielder dragged his stretched effort wide.

Former Manchester City midfielder Hardy had an attempt of his own with the next attack, but goalkeeper Cameron Belford was equal to his low stinging strike.

Daniels was looking a handful and only a great block on 15 minutes prevented him getting a strong strike on target. The majority of the play was directed down the left hand side through the former Harrogate Town ace and his dangerous delivery was causing Stranraer endless problems.

After a typical pre-season lull in play, Kemp delivered a looped cross into the Fylde area but goalkeeper Dan Hanford leaped above Malcolm to claim with ease.

Stranraer doubled their lead six minutes before the break in emphatic fashion. Frontman Malcolm latched on to a pass on the edge of the area and crashed the ball home at the first time of asking.

The visitors were started to stifle the threat of Daniels and he could only find the side-netting with a cross shortly before half-time.

The Coasters put the pressure on as the half drew to a close with both Blinkhorn and Langley going close to connecting with headers but they couldn’t find a way through.

Challinor switched his full eleven – and the kit – at half time and replacement striker Jason Gilchrist went close just five minutes into the second period when he stroked the ball narrowly wide of the far post from an acute angle.

Last season’s top scorer Danny Rowe was introduced at the break and he looked determined to score from the off, firing just over from 25 yards after twisting and turning on 54 minutes.

Winger Sam McClosky had the first chance of the second half for the visitors when a looping freekick found him unmarked in the box but he could only poke the ball wide of the post.  

The clock ticked on without a chance of note until Rowe was released in the box however he smashed a powerful strike agonisingly wide of the far post with 15 minutes to play. The dangerman was inches from connecting with Gilchrist’s right wing cross seconds later as the Coasters turned the screw.

If anyone was going to score it looked like it would be Rowe as he fired another sighter on 84 minutes that flew a foot wide of the right post from 20 yards. It just wasn’t to be Fylde’s night as the 27-year-old spurned yet another opportunity with less than five minutes, curling a shot just wide of the goalkeeper’s right hand post.

The Coasters are back in action on Tuesday night at Kellamergh Park against League One side Rochdale.

AFC Fylde first half: Hanford, Holmes, Moseley, Langley, Crainey, Hardy, Whittington, Finley, Blinkhorn, Dixon, Daniels.

AFC Fylde second half: T. Thompson, R. Thompson, Sumner, Collins, Williams, C. Hughes, M. Hughes, Dudley, Rowe, Gilchrist, Davies.

Stranraer: Belford (Currie 62), Barbour, Dick, Trialist (Turner 46), McKeown, Thompson, Kemp, Bell, Malcolm, Agnew, McCloskey.

Ref: Macnamara.

Att: 220