Scarborough Athletic vs AFC Fylde

National League North
Sat 21st January 2023
Score: 1 - 2

Match Report

The Coasters moved to the top of the National League North table after coming from behind to claim all three points against Scarborough Athletic, thanks to goals from Emeka Obi & Mo Faal.

After Chris Neal made an unbelievable last-ditch save, Scarborough took the lead through Lewis Maloney after he lined up a shot from around 35 yards out and managed to launch into the top corner of the net.

In true Coasters style, though, the side donning the all-white strip managed to draw themselves level when a floated Nick Haughton free-kick found Obi free at the back post, who elegantly took the ball down and half-volleyed into the bottom right corner.

Once again, there was still time for drama when Obi turned from scorer to provider, floating a ball to the back post, where Cracknell came to claim and spilt, leaving Faal to find the back of the net in the final knockings of the game.

Adam Murray made three changes to the side that was victorious against Buxton FC in midweek, with Emeka Obi, Connor Barrett & Siya Ligendza replacing Kyle Morrison, Luke Burke & Luke Charman.

As the Coaters hoped to continue their good start to 2023, Haughton had the first chance of the game when a throw from Connor Barrett was headed into the path of the midfielder for him to swivel but find the gloves of Joe Cracknell.

However, the home side looked to stamp their authority on the game in front of their own crowd. Several good chances came for the Seadogs through Lewis Maloney, but his best was superbly kept out by Neal, who made a last-ditch save on the line.

The pressure and amount of Maloney’s chances told on the Coasters when the number four fancied his chances from range, and he was right to do so, launching a 35-yard shot into the top corner.

Adam Murray’s team, however, never lie down. After Siya Ligendza was brought down on the right, Haughton floated a free-kick to the back post for Obi to touch down beautifully and finish like a true striker into the bottom corner.

Play started to settle down following a fast-paced half an hour. That allowed the Coasters to build nicely through the thirds and Haughton to spread the play to Barrett on the right. He took one touch out of his feet and fired over.

With the home side not threatening as they were, Pierce Bird was allowed plenty of time to thread a defence-splitting pass into the feet of Ligendza, who used his strength to hold his marker off and place a shot towards the bottom corner, but Cracknell was off his line to keep him out.

Half-Time: Scarborough Athletic 1-1 AFC Fylde   

Following the interval, Fylde came out and were on top from the off, with chances coming for both Haughton & Alex Whitmore.

Exchanges between Luke Conlan and Philliskirk eventually brought Haughton into play when he received a pass on the back foot, dropped a shoulder and let fly, with his effort deflecting off the leg of Ligendza and wide. Whitmore then guided a header towards the bottom corner, only to be kept out by Cracknell.

The most action that the Flamingo Land Stadium saw in the next ten minutes was the players being escorted off the pitch after ‘an incident in the Shed End toilets’, as it was described by the PA Announcer.

Nothing was to distract the Coasters after the restart as they pressed on, and the introduction of Joe Rowley sprung more life into the group, but as he fiercely whipped a ball across the face of goal, nobody was there in a white shirt to turn home.

However, when the opportunity to score fell Faal’s way, the striker duly delivered to clinch the points from inside the six-yard box after Obi’s deep cross was spilt by Cracknell under pressure.

Full-Time: Scarborough Athletic 1-2 AFC Fylde   

Scarborough Athletic: Cracknell, Weledji, Maloney, Gooda, Coulson, Watson, Glynn, Colville (85’ Greenfield), Burton, Dom Tear (65’ McGuckin), Wiles (85’ Ilesanmi).

Unused subs: Jackson, Heslop.

AFC Fylde: Neal, Obi, Whitmore, Bird (78’ Charman), Conlan, Barrett, Weston, Philliskirk (73’ Hatfield), Haughton, Faal, Ligendza (61’ Rowley).

Unused Subs: Burke, Morrison.