AFC Fylde suffered defeat in their final outing of pre-season at the hands of Tranmere Rovers ahead of the season opener against AFC Telford United next weekend.  

Early goals from Andy Cook, Darren Stephenson and Adam Mekki gave the National League side an unassailable lead and whilst Fylde captain Steve Williams pulled one back for the hosts, Jay Harris put the match to bed midway through the second half.

The match sprang to life after just 80 seconds when former Barrow striker Andy Cook opening the scoring in spectacular fashion. Steve Williams’ headed clearance fell kindly to the frontman and he lashed the ball home on the half-volley from 20 yards.

Coasters trialist James Caton looked to make immediate amends when he raced down the right but his powerful strike across goal was wide of the far post.

The was a break in play on seven minutes when Andy Bond suffered a nasty blow to the head after a collision with goalkeeper Scott Davies but thankfully after some attention from both sets of medical staff the midfielder was cleared to continue.

The visitors doubled their lead on 15 minutes in bizarre circumstances. A poor kick out from the trialist goalkeeper went straight to summer signing Darren Stephenson on the edge of the area and the ex-Chorley man had the simple job of crashing the ball past the helpless stopper.

Tranmere were starting to run away with it and added a third goal inside 25 minutes. Striker Adam Mekki found himself in space to the left of the Fylde box and unleashed a rasping first time effort that looped over the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the goal.

Mekki was causing the Coasters’ back line countless problems and fired another arrow of a strike towards the top corner from distance but this time the keeper tipped the ball over the top.

Fylde frontman Danny Rowe had his first sniff of goal shortly after the half-hour mark when he manoeuvred a yard of space on 18 yard line and was narrowly wide of the right post with a curling effort.

The hosts narrowed the deficit with the next attack when Richie Baker delivered a peach of a cross to the back post for the lurking Williams to nod the ball back across goal and into the bottom corner.

Half-time substitute Sam Finley was presented with the first chance of the second half when he was played clean through but the goalkeeper was out quickly to smother the midfielder’s flicked shot.

Another half-time replacement James Hardy tried his luck from the edge of the box and wasn’t far over with a left-footed strike.

Just as it looked like the hosts were getting back into the game, Tranmere grabbed a fourth. A deep cross to the back post from Cook was met by the head of Jay Harris and flapped at by the goalkeeper before ending up in the bottom corner.

Finley was fast becoming Fylde’s biggest threat and hit a rocket from 30 yards that flew narrowly over the bar. Mekki hit one from similar distance for the opposition but the Coasters goalkeeper was down well low to his left.

The Coasters now look forward to the first match of the new National League North season away at Telford on Saturday.


AFC Fylde: Trialist, C. Hughes (Trialist 65), Langley, Williams (Crainey 38), Sumner, Baker (Hardy 46), Bond (Trialist 46), Dixon (Finley 46), Trialist (M.Hughes 46), Daniels, Rowe.

Tranmere: Davies, Maynard, Ridehalgh, Hughes, McNulty, Gumbs, Mekki, Harris, Cook, Stephenson, Jennings.