AFC Fylde vs Nuneaton Borough

National League North
Sat 15th October 2016
Score: 2 - 1

Match Report

AFC Fylde strengthened their position at the top of the National League North with a 2-1 victory over Nuneaton Town.

Christian Dibble’s own goal was cancelled out by Boro playmaker Elliott Whitehouse on the stroke of half-time however Danny Rowe’s 20th goal of the season sealed all three points for the Coasters.

Dave Challinor handed winger Ryan Jennings his first start of the season in the only change for the Coasters’ side that drew 3-3 with Kidderminster Harriers last weekend, with Richie Baker dropping to the bench.

Nuneaton took the game to Fylde in the opening stages and only an important headed clearance from Josh Langley prevented Aaron Williams turning home Greg Tempest’s dangerous delivery from the left.

Fylde’s first shooting chance of the game didn’t arrive until the 15th minute of the match when Rowe was sent on his way by Sam Finley, however he flashed his strike across goal and far of the wide post.

The deadly hitman was closer still a moment later when his flicked header at the near post was deflected around the post. Dom Collins was denied by a fantastic save from Dibble from the resultant corner.

Rowe was looking as dangerous as ever and gave Nuneaton a let-off when he uncharacteristically fired a set-piece over the bar from 25 yards. The frontman was well off target with another chance moments later as the Coasters came to life.

Boro striker Joe Ironside was presented the best chance of the match when he was played clean through, but Fylde stopper Rhys Taylor was quick off his line to smother the strike.

Finley hit back with a chance for the hosts and forced the goalkeeper into a reaction save with a stinging shot from the edge of the area. The midfielder fizzed an almost identical effort narrowly wide seconds later.

Some intricate play inside the Fylde penalty area presented Billy Daniels with a shooting opportunity, but his left footed effort lacked power and rolled to Taylor.

The Coasters took the lead with the next attack of the match. Tom Kennedy whipped in a delightful free-kick from the right and Dibble could only punch the ball into his own net to put the home side ahead.

Rowe was inches from doubling the lead on 40 minutes when he cut in from the left and fired just wide of the far post with a placed strike from 20 yards.

However, it was the visitors that struck next, levelling the scores just before the break. Tempest swung in a corner from the left and Elliott Whitehouse shrugged off his marker before heading low into the bottom right hand corner.

Whitehouse almost completed the turnaround all on his own soon after the break when he pounced on a loose ball at the back post, but defender and goalkeeper did enough to put him off.

Some fantastic interplay between James Hardy and Rowe resulted in the former firing a sweet strike at Dibble however it was straight at the stopper who pulled off a decent save.

Bohan Dixon tried his luck from range on the hour mark, launching a rocket from 25 yards that was tipped around the post as the Coasters piled on the pressure.

Fylde were handed a let off when Taylor’s clearance hit the advancing Williams however the forward was adjudged to have handled the ball.

Rowe tried his luck with a second set-piece opportunity of the afternoon with 20 minutes to play, but much like his first attempt, the ball flew over the top.

The Coasters were deservedly back ahead on 74 minutes in emphatic fashion when Rowe robbed Luke Higham on the edge of the area before rifling a shot past Dibble via the underside of the bar.

The Coasters looked happy to see out the game by maintaining possession as the game drew to a close, whilst Nuneaton struggled to make any inroads in their search for an equaliser.

Substitute Tommy Wright glanced a header wide in the final seconds, but Fylde saw the game out comfortably to claim an important three points.

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Holmes, Langley, Collins, Kennedy, Bond, Hardy, Finley, Dixon, Jennings (C. Hughes 46), Hardy, Rowe.

Subs not used: Thompson, Baker, M. Hughes, Blinkhorn.

Nuneaton: Dibble, Clifton, Higham, Morgan, Langmead, Penny, Daniels (Demkiv 80), Tempest, Ironside (Wright 85), Whitehouse, Williams (Moli 83).

Subs: Keane, Elliott.

Att: 1,627

Ref: Glen Hart