Fylde front two a pair-fect match

AFC Fylde 4, Durham City 2 PROLIFIC strikers Tom Cahill and Kevin Townson struck at the double again as Fylde recorded their third four-goal win of 2011.

Cahill and Townson scored two apiece, just as they had in last Monday's 4-3 success at Witton, to stretch Fylde's winning run in all competitons to nine and lift them into third place in Evo-Stik First Division North.

Unchanged Fylde began brightly and were rewarded on 17 minutes when Cahill calmly converted at the near post following a good ball into the box from Joe Booth.

AFC continued to have the better of the play but conceded an equaliser on 37 minutes following a mistake by goalkeeper Lewis Edge.

Rufus Ayre lofted a free-kick into the box from 30 yards and Edge appeared to lose sight of the ball in the sun as it bobbled into his unguarded net.

This seemed to spark the Coasters, who went close a minute later when Mike Barnes shot just wide from the edge of the penalty box.

AFC continued to press as Townson fired just over following good work in the air by Matt Mahoney.

At the other end, the lively David Dowson's shot narrowly cleared the bar, and it remained 1-1 at half-time after Cahill headed just wide from Matt Lawlor's cross.

Cahill was not to be denied, and after having a headed goal ruled offside within a minute of the restart he struck his fifth in three games just a minute later, converting John Hills' cross.

Townson put Fylde in control on 51 minutes, when he made it 3-1 from Booth's corner, controlling the ball well before striking cleanly into the bottom corner.

Townson too notched his fifth since the turn of the year – and his 17th since joining the Coasters in October – six minutes later with the goal of the game. His finish crowned a fast-flowing, five-man passing move which cut the Durham defence apart.

The Coasters brought on Matt Walwyn and Andy Bell as the one-way traffic continued, with Townson denied his second AFC hat-trick by a good save from Lewis Graham.

Phil Doughty was booked on 62 minutes and the Citizens' Stephen Thompson brushed the right-hand post from the resulting free-kick.

This proved to be Durham's best spell and their second goal arrived five minutes later, when Amar Purewal latched on to a lovely through ball. The Coasters refused to panic and young keeper Graham was forced into a series of excellent saves to deny Townson, Mahoney and Bell.

Edge also pulled off a top stop, low to his left, as the game entered its final five minutes and Ricky Mercer made an excellent tackle to keep the spirited visitors at bay.

Fylde's bid to take their winning run into double figures will be seriously tested at league leaders Chester's Exacta Stadium on Wednesday.

Fylde: Edge, Lawlor, Hills, Mercer, Doughty, Kay, Booth, Mahoney, Cahill, Townson, Barnes.