AFC Fylde vs Stamford

Sat 22nd March 2014
Score: 2 - 0

Match Report

HT: 1-0

Att: 238

AFC Fylde extended their unbeaten run to 17 matches in all competitions thanks to a second victory over Stamford in as many weekends.

Matthew Blinkhorn scored the only goal of a dominant first half heading in Richie Allen’s cross before Danny Lloyd came off the bench to double Fylde’s lead two minutes before full time.

The Coasters, revelling on a successful Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy Final victory over league-leaders Chorley on Monday night, should have gone in leading by a lot more than they did.

Joe Booth forced a save from Will Jones on 13 minutes and then Allen shot over within seconds before Andy Russell guided Sean Cooke’s cross over the bar with only a quarter of an hour gone.

Allen had another shot saved by the keeper’s legs three minutes later before Adam Sumner curled a fine shot over the bar from outside the box on 21 minutes.

Cooke came close with a shot which went wide of the post and then the hero of Monday night, Michael Barnes, was inches away from converting a pin-point cross from Allen at the back post just three yards out.

Allen saw another effort go wide of the mark before the deadlock was finally broken on 39 minutes – Allen was involved again and sent a searching cross towards the six yard box where Blinkhorn ran across the goal to meet it with his head and divert it past Jones into the goal.

Three minutes later, Barnes had another chance to add to Fylde’s lead when Cooke’s cross found him in acres of space at the back post, only his first touch took the ball away from him and into Jones’ arms.

The second half was a complete contrast to the first from Fylde as they struggled to continue with same intensity and pressure and allowed Stamford to put the pressure on them in search of an equaliser.

Fylde did create the first chances of the half however but Barnes and Cooke failed to trouble the visiting goalkeeper.

Jon Challinor landed Stamford’s first chance of the match on 53 minutes onto the roof of Ben Hinchliffe’s net trying to lob the Fylde keeper from the edge of the box.

And on 61 minutes, Daniel Lawler then sent a shot over the bar looking for an equaliser before Blinkhorn missed a golden chance to double his sides lead ten minutes later.

After some excellent build-up play around the box, the ball was played through to the Fylde striker who turned expertly, took a touch but shot well wide of the goal when it looked easier to score.

Stamford’s top goal scorer, Ryan Robbins couldn’t beat Hinchliffe with a shot twelve minutes before the end and, thankfully for The Coasters, that was the visitors’ last clear-cut chance of the match.

Then, with time almost up, on came Danny Lloyd, replacing Allen, and he picked up the ball, cut inside and blasted the ball in off the post to seal the victory with virtually his first touch of the game.

Dave Challinor was pleased that his lads got another win under their belt: “In the first half the lads were unbelievably good, probably the best we’ve played and I don’t think there’s any surprises playing on the back of Monday night’s win.”

But Challinor was also unhappy with the difference in his side’s performance in the second period, adding: “But as good as we were in the first half we were as bad in the second.

“We’ve had a chat in the dressing room about what we think and where we need to go and I suppose some would see results as more important than performances, but I’m a big believer that if you produce the performance then results will take care of themselves.

“I’m more frustrated than anything as we were brilliant and the game should have been dead and buried as we had eight unbelievable chances not taken in the first half an hour.

“We made it difficult for ourselves in the second period as we didn’t play how we want to play which culminated in us not passing the ball and creating any opportunities.”

Fylde can now enjoy a week’s rest before a second trip to Frickley Athletic in two and half weeks on Saturday, where the aim will be to record their first ever win at Westfield Lane and keep the unbeaten run going.

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hankin, Sumner, Denson, Russell, B. Barnes (C), M. Barnes, Booth (Winter 76), Blinkhorn, Cooke (C. Hughes 76), Allen (Lloyd 87); Subs not used: M. Hughes, Charnley.