Nuneaton Borough vs AFC Fylde

National League North
Sat 25th March 2017
Score: 4 - 1

Match Report

AFC Fylde suffered their first defeat in eight games, going down 4-1 at in-form Nuneaton Town.

A disappointing first half display saw the Coasters trail by three goals at the break and although Bohan Dixon pulled one back, Devon Kelly-Evans wrapped up the victory in added time leaving Fylde just six points clear at the top of the National League North.

Manager Dave Challinor handed a debut to defender Jack Cowgill after his deadline day switch from Barnsley, whilst fellow newcomer Kieran Kennedy had to settle for a place on the bench.

Top scorer Danny Rowe was nearly given a gift in the opening exchanges when he almost latched on to a poor back-pass from Exodus Geohaghon but goalkeeper Tyrell Belford was quickly off his line to clear the danger.

Billy Daniels was the width of the woodwork  from breaking the deadlock moments later when he left fly with a low drive from 25 yards that had Rhys Taylor scrambling across goal, but to the relief of the Fylde stopper, the ball struck the foot of the post.

Neither side had really got going in the sunshine at Liberty Way in the early stages but a moment of magic from Kelly-Evans almost lit up the first half when he cleverly ghosted past Caspar Hughes but his cross was just out of the reach of Daniels.

Rowe had another chance midway through the half when he was picked out in the box by Sam Finley and he managed to dig out a shot on the turn but it was comfortable for Belford.

Play raced to the other end of the pitch and it would be Nuneaton that opened the scoring. A long throw into the box was headed into the patch of Ashley Chambers at the back post and whilst his attempt was superbly kept out by Taylor, Daniels was on hand with the simplest of tap-ins.

Chambers himself had the ball in the net with the very next attack after Jordan Nicholson had bundled the ball through the crowded penalty area however the referee’s assistant deemed the striker offside.

The hosts doubled their lead six minutes for the break when Geohaghon launched another long throw into the box that defensive partner Kevin Langmead rose to power a header home.

Things went from bad to worse for the Coasters on the stroke of half-time when Chambers capitalised on indecisiveness between Andy Bond and Cowgill to race clean through and slot past a helpless Taylor.    

Challinor made a double switch at the break with Matt Blinkhorn and James Hardy replacing Brendon Daniels and Matt Hughes as the Coasters looked for a way back into the contest.

Hardy made an immediate impact when his miscued strike from a dropping ball almost looped over Belford however the goalkeeper managed to get a fingertip to it and nudge the ball over the bar. Blinkhorn nodded one straight at Belford as Fylde started to gather some momentum.

Chambers was still looking a threat for the home side and Fylde needed a good save from Taylor when the frontman was played in by Nicholson.

The visitors pulled a goal back shortly after the hour mark when substitute Bohan Dixon expertly fired home from the edge of the box with his first touch since coming on a minute earlier.

Bradley took aim after cutting in from the right with 15 minutes to play although his low strike was wide of the near post. Sam Finley hit a cleanly struck first-time strike as the minutes ticked by that flew narrowly over the crossbar.

The match was put to bed in added time when Greg Mills’ cutback was swept home from close range by the impressive Kelly-Evans.

Nuneaton Town: Belford, Gascoigne, O’Hanlon, Scott, Langmead, Geohaghon (Penny 46), Kelly-Evans (Thomas 90), Elliott, Chambers (Mills 90), Daniels, Nicholson.

Subs not used: Gould, Dibble.

AFC Fylde: Taylor, C. Hughes, Cowgill (Dixon 64), Bond, Kennedy, Baker, Finley, Bradley, M. Hughes (Hardy 46), Daniels (Blinkhorn 46), Rowe.

Subs not used: Kennedy, Kay.

Att: 480

Ref: Matthew Donohue