AFC Fylde returned from North Wales after a 5-0 thrashing of Colwyn Bay, the former stomping ground of Coasters manager Dave Challinor.
Fylde started brightly and got the dream start with Michael Potts converting from six yards following Allen’s flick on from Michael Barnes’ cross from the left. Fylde keeper Ben Hinchcliffe was booked for a foul after eight minutes but nothing came from the resulting free kick.
Colwyn Bay had a good chance to equalise when a penalty area scramble ended with Jonathan Royle hitting a powerful shot at the Fylde goal, however a deflection off a Fylde defender angled the ball away from goal.
The Coasters had chances to extend their lead, with Bradley Barnes arrowing a shot narrowly wide of the Colwyn goal from 18 yards, whilst Richie Allen headed over at the back post from a Michael Barnes cross.
The Coasters thought they had double their lead when Allen angled his shot into the top right corner of the goal. His celebrations were premature though, as the goal was disallowed after his flick on the right wing was judged to have gone out of play.
Allen crossed for Fylde’s second goal on the brink of half time. A flick at the near post ended up coming off the bottom of the crossbar and into the back of the net. There was confusion over the scorer but it was eventually awarded to Potts for his second of the game. Fylde went in at half time two nil ahead but in truth it really should have been more.
After the break Colwyn Bay had more possession and attacked the Fylde half with more enthusiasm but strong defending from The Coasters back four prevented any serious attempts at Hinchcliffe’s goal. On the hour mark Danny Lloyd replaced the impressive Allen and a couple of minutes later Joe Booth came on for midfielder Liam Tomsett.
The Coasters made sure of the win after Barnes’ cross was flicked on towards Lloyd at the far post, who tapped into an empty net from about 10 yards. The pace and trickery of substitute Lloyd was clearly evident and he terrorised what was a tiring Colwyn Bay defence.
Three then became four as Lloyd beat his marker on the left hand side and his cross was put into his own goal by defender Tom Clarke, although at first it looked as though Potts had completed his hat-trick.
Colwyn Bay’s backline seemed disheartened in the last fifteen minutes and Fylde creates chance after chance, Potts and Lloyd having further opportunities to extend the lead. Man of the Match Barnes came off with ten minutes to go and was replaced by Dion Charles and it was the substitute who was to grab Fylde’s fifth and final goal.
Charles was set one on one with Colwyn keeper Josh Ollerenshaw and the substitute rounded him well and tapped home into an empty net to round off a very impressive away win for the Coasters, which now puts them back into the top half of the table.
After the game, Challinor gave his opinion on his side’s performance. “We said before the game that a win today might make Saturday’s point seem a better result. We were very good today, similar to how we have played in our last three games.
“We needed to win today, there was a massive incentive after the results we’ve had recently, we’ve come back to a place where I’ve had really fond memories so for me to come back and win was brilliant. I think I wanted it more than the players really.
“We started well last week but obviously to get a goal early it gave us a lift. We were a bit sloppy after that and we could have given away a goal but once we got the second goal we went into half time a lot more confident. In the second half we were very very good and created a lot of chances.
“It’s always satisfying to win, in the last three games we haven’t scored which isn’t like us. We had 33 crosses against Guiseley and only 10 were put into decent areas, today we were much better and most of our crosses were into good areas and we probably should have made the keeper work a bit more.”
Fylde move up to ninth place after this result and play at home against Hednesford Town next, a team with an identical record to Challinor’s men. Kick off is at 3pm.
AFC Fylde: Hinchcliffe,Hughes,Sumner,Langley,Hannigan,Barnes (C), Tomsett (Booth 64), Potts,Rowe,Barnes (Charles 80), Allen (Lloyd 60); Subs not used: Denson,Hankin
Colwyn Bay: Ollerenshaw,Olapade (Pilliner 85),Moss (Heywood 38) ,Clarke,Bembo-Leta,Noone,Parker,Royle,Anoruo,Williams ( C), Rey (Hodgson 62); Subs not used: Clark,Mendes
MOM: Michael Barnes