AFC Fylde suffered a narrow defeat against League One side Rochdale in the second friendly of the pre-season schedule.

Steve Davies’ second-half free-kick was the difference between the two sides, however the Coasters more than matched their opponents for the majority of the afternoon.

Manager Dave Challinor named a much changed line-up from the side that started at Marine earlier in the week, with a first appearance for goalkeeper Jay Lynch.

The Coasters dominated the opening exchanging and went close to scoring after nine minutes with a move of real quality. Midfielder Sam Finley exchanged passes with Dan Bradley and tricked his way past the last man before seeing his shot from 18 yards well saved by Dale stopper Josh Lillis.

Bradley was looking dangerous in an advanced position and both he and Finley saw shots fizz narrowly wide of the mark as the hosts pressed.

The visitors started to grow in to the game as the half wore on and Callum Camps blasted a free-kick into the wall as they began to show an attacking threat.

Some intricate play on the half hour between Finley and Zaine Francis-Angol saw the ball land at the feet of Brendon Daniels, however he lashed his left-footed strike wide of the far post from the edge of the area.

The Coasters continued to knock on the door as Bradley weaved his way through before finding Muldoon but the new man’s strike was blocked. Bradley would have scored the goal of the century on the follow up had his ambitious overhead kick from 25 yards found the top corner rather than the goalkeeper’s grateful arms.

Powerful frontman Calvin Andrew hit back with a rare chance for Rochdale but Lynch was equal to his low effort from close range.

However, after a raft of changes at half-time it was the visitors that broke the deadlock. Rochdale were awarded a free-kick on the corner of the 18 yard box and Steve Davies stepped up to curl a sublime strike into the far top corner.

Dale full-back Joe Rafferty looked to repeat the trick after an hour when he let fly from a similar position and was unlucky to see his effort crash back off the crossbar.

Fylde were looking more lively with the introductions of James Hardy, Henry Jones and Danny Rowe but it was one of the three trialists on show that almost levelled the scores with a deft chip that was cleared off the line.

Matty Hughes took aim with 15 minutes to play after he was found lurking in the box by Josh Ezewele but miscued his effort well wide of the post.

Fylde were presented with a glorious chance to grab the equaliser when a clearance deflected perfectly into the path of Hardy, however instead of putting his foot through the ball, he chipped his strike straight into the goalkeeper’s arms.

Next up, the Coasters host Championship side Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night (k/o 7:30pm) at Mill Farm.


AFC Fylde: Lynch (Taylor 46) C. Hughes (Ezewele 63), Tunnicliffe (Bond 63), Langley (Trialist 63), Francis-Angol (Trialist 63), Montrose (Morgan 63), Finley (Hardy 63), Bradley (Trialist 63), Tasdemir (M. Hughes 46), Daniels (Jones 46), Muldoon (Rowe 63).

Subs: Taylor, Ezewele, Morgan, Jones, Hardy, Bond, M. Hughes, Trialist, Rowe, Trialist, Trialist.

Rochdale: Lillis, McNulty, McGahey, Brown, Andrew, Camps, Inman, Allen, Adshead, Kitching, Henderson.

Subs: Rafferty, Canavan, Williams, Rathbone, Keane, Steve Davies, Collis, Cannon, Morley, Gillam, Kearney, Trialist.

Ref: Barry Cropp

Att: 839