AFC Fylde vs Blackburn Rovers

1st Team Friendly
Wed 27th July 2016
Score: 1 - 0

Match Report

AFC Fylde star Stephen Crainey was the match-winner for the second time in five days as the Coasters saw off a young Blackburn Rovers side.

The experienced full-back fired a sensational free-kick into the top corner with practically the last kick of the game as Fylde made it three pre-season victories on the spin.

The Coasters took part in a gruelling army style training session on Monday and after an understandably slow start to the game, the hosts managed the first shot on goal when centre-half Josh Langley stormed out from the back before firing a strike from 25 yards that was comfortable for the goalkeeper.

Rovers first team star Connor Mahoney fashioned the first opportunity for the visitors but his back post header from Ryan Nyambe’s dangerous cross was glanced well wide.    

Fylde’s trialist goalkeeper was tested on the 20-minute mark and stood up well after a Rovers trialist had broken into the box after some clever play. Mahoney raced forward moments later but his eventual strike was closed down and comfortable for the Fylde stopper.

Danny Rowe made his first real contribution to the game when, after a delightful one-two with James Howell, the frontman forced two good saves from Andy Fisher in the Blackburn goal.

The hosts were looking a little frustrated with a disciplined Rovers side and Sam Finley launched an ambitious strike from fully 30 yards that was someway off target.

Howell had the ball in the back of the net after half an hour when he deftly lifted a shot over Fisher, however the linesman cruelly flagged to deny the Coasters a fine goal.

Mahoney was looking like the visitors biggest threat in the early stages and again took aim but was well over the crossbar from the edge of the box as the half drew to a close.

Coasters boss Dave Challinor made ten changes at the break and Brendon Daniels tried his luck shortly after the restart but his lofted attempt from the angle sailed over the top.

Visiting Full-back Nyambe came within a whisker of opening the scoring ten minutes after the break when he received the ball from John O’Sullivan on the overlap and crashed a thunderous strike off the crossbar. Striker Mansell wasn’t far off with a powerful header from the next meaningful attack.

The big frontman was even closer with his next effort from Nyambe’s right wing cross but his header across goal drifted harmlessly wide of the far post.

It was Fylde’s turn to pose a threat with 20 minutes left to play when Bohan Dixon cleverly played in full-back Sam Tattum however substitute goalkeeper Josh Powell was quick to get down to the danger.

Midfielder James Hardy was inches from nicking the opening goal when he latched on to a fantastic ball over the top but his first time finish could only find the roof of the netting.

Some nice interplay between Hardy and Daniels with ten minutes remaining saw the latter blast a left-footed shot just over the bar as the Coasters pushed for the breakthrough. Dixon was a livewire throughout the second period but couldn’t hit the target with a long range strike five minutes from time.

The visitors continued to threaten and O’Sullivan was a foot wide of the right post when a curling attempt from 18 yards.

However, with just seconds remaining there was still time for a moment of magic and a winning goal. Stephen Crainey, who bagged the only goal against Oldham Athletic at the weekend, curled an almost identical free-kick into the top right-hand corner, leaving the goalkeeper stranded.   


AFC Fylde first half: Trialist, Trialist, Sumner, Langley, Bond, Howell, M. Hughes, Finley, Rowe, Blinkhorn, Trialist.

AFC Fylde second half: Trialist, Tattum, C. Hughes, Crainey, Baker, Langley (Dudley 70), Dixon, Wynne, Trialist, Hardy, Daniels.

Rovers: Fisher (Powell 46), Nyambe, Doyle, Travis, Platt, Wharton, O’Sullivan, Thomson, Mansell, Trialist, Mahoney.