AFC Fylde 1 AFC Telford United 1: Match report and reaction

Dan Bradley fires Fylde in front  Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Dan Bradley fires Fylde in front Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
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Fylde’s bid to bounce back from their shock 5-0 defeat at Salford was frustrated by Telford at Mill Farm.

Midfielder Dan Bradley broke the deadlock with his eighth goal for the Coasters but veteran striker Lee Hughes equalised on his Bucks debut.

The former West Brom frontman’s leveller meant Fylde’s lead at the top of Vanarama National North was cut to seven points.

Manager Dave Challinor handed defender Dan Jones his debut just 24 hours after joining on a month’s loan from Grimsby Town, while Josh Langley, Andy Bond and Matty Hughes all returned from injury.

Goalkeeper Rhys Taylor was called into action early on, when a strike by former Blackpool defender Joel Dielna was helped on by Edward Jones, but the Fylde number one pulled off a sensational diving save, also denying Hughes on the follow-up.

Fylde soon had a great chance of their own, when Jones advanced and his cross from the left found Matty Hughes unmarked at the back post. However, his goalbound poke was blocked by keeper Matt Urwin, the former Fylde stopper on loan from Fleetwood.

The Coasters opened the scoring on 17 minutes, when Bradley finished off a fantastic team move. Fine passing found Tom Kennedy out wide and his cross was nodded down by Andy Bond for Bradley to lash home from 15 yards.

Dielna looked to get the visitors straight back on level terms with an ambitious free-kick, with his powerful 40-yard effort sailed a foot over.

Telford striker Josh Wilson almost came back to haunt his old side when a wayward header from Jones put the frontman clean through, but Taylor was again in the way with a smart save at the near post.

The Coasters were dealt another injury blow when captain Langley was forced off just half an hour into his comeback. With no defenders on the bench, Andy Bond dropped into the backline.

The visitors were the width of the woodwork from finding a leveller when a corner was nodded back into the six-yard box and John Royle who crashed an effort against the underside of the bar from close range.

Taylor was enjoying a fine afternoon between the sticks and again kept the spirited visitors at bay as he thwarted Hughes.

Fylde started the second half brightly with a succession of corners, and Brendon Daniels’ snapshot had to be turned away as the Coasters piled on the pressure.

The hosts looked comfortable and Danny Rowe saw a 25-yard strike fly well over after he found space.

But out of the blue Telford drew level on 57 minutes. Their Blackpool loan left-back Luke Higham delivered a pinpoint cross to the back post, where the lurking Hughes nodded home with ease from a couple of yards.

The striker went close to doubling his tally in similar fashion when another inviting cross from Higham found him in the centre but this time he headed straight at Taylor.

The Coasters began to rediscover their rhythm in the final 15 minutes as Jones curled a shot just wide from the edge of the area.

The 40-year-old Hughes went close again at the other end, shrugging off Bond only for Taylor’s fingertip save to deny him a second.

The hosts huffed and puffed to no avail in the dying moments and had to settle for one point from six.

Fylde boss Challinor sensed a hangover from hammering at Salford as his side struggled to raise their game against Telford.

He said: “We looked like we were a nervous team out there. That’s something that we don’t need to because we’re in a good position.

“Sometimes the manner of your defeats can have an effect. That was the case when we conceded today.

“Good players have to step up in difficult circumstances. Having to move Bondy to the back was a massive loss for us in the middle of the pitch. Unfortunately people didn’t step up – people went into their shells.

“We didn’t show enough urgency to go and look like we wanted to win the game.

“We looked more like a team that didn’t want to lose the game. When you do that, not only do you have to work hard you also leave yourself open. We were too safe.

“After that, people’s options on the ball aren’t as great and you make poor decisions.

“We played the ball into isolated areas and did not get support to people. That’s the biggest disappointment.

“However, nothing has changed. We had a poor result last week and a poor performance.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves. We are having a bad time with injuries but we’ve got to keep going and stick together. We’ll work hard this week and look to get a positive result at Brackley.”

DANIEL AGNEW & CHRISTOPHER COUGHLIN

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Wilson, Jones, Langley (Dixon 36), Kennedy, Bond, C. Hughes, Bradley, M. Hughes (Blinkhorn 74), Daniels (Baker 85), Rowe; Not used: Thompson, Holland.

AFC Telford United: Urwin, Samuels, Higham, Havern, McCone, Rea, Royle, Jones (Hibbert 70), Hughes, Wilson, Dielna (Kissock 87); Not used: Bailey, Hodge, Lilley.

Ref: Paul Graham; Att: 1,502