AFC Fylde secured their fifth win on the trot thanks to a fifth goal in as many games for Michael Barnes in Saturday’s FA Trophy First Qualifying Round clash at Kellamergh Park.
Kevin Lynch’s Marine side came to Kellamergh Park unbeaten in their opening 11 games and were unlucky not to go away with at least a replay with Barnes’ goal 14 minutes from time, coming immediately after Marcus Carver almost put the visitors ahead.
Fylde started brightly and Harry Winter had a goal disallowed for offside in the third minute when he met the ball well close range from Richie Allen’s flick on.
Marine were restricted to shots from distance early on and Joe Booth should have done better with his header from six yards out which sailed the wrong side of the post on 11 minutes before Allen made goalkeeper Callum Williams work hard to keep hold of the ball parrying his initial shot on 18 minutes. As the visitors started pressing more, Fylde’s defence had to be at its very best. Former Fylde man Andy Fowler was causing problems on the left wing and striker Carver was moving well across the back four looking for an opening.
As the first half drew to a close, Fowler, Carver and Jonathan Goulding all had chances to give Marine the lead but couldn’t find the killer finish.
The sides had hardly warmed themselves up for the second half when Fowler sent a good shot at goal from distance but keeper Ben Hinchliffe was equal to the shot and saved well.
Within a minute the ball was up the other end and Barnes forced another save out of Williams before Robbie Lawton fired well over from all of 30 yards for Marine three minutes later.
Allen should have done better when through on goal 53 minutes in but scuffed his shot straight into the arms of Williams.
On 62 minutes, right-back Steve Haslam got in on the act, bursting into the box and taking a shot which was deflected out for a corner which fellow defender, Matty Hughes, headed narrowly wide.
With the introduction of James Dean, Fylde began to look the more likely to score and with 20 minutes to go Dean almost got his head onto a great cross from Allen but was beaten to the ball by the keeper.
The visitors almost broke the deadlock with 16 minutes left as Michael Ordish pinged the ball across the face of the goal which beat everyone but a minute later Carver had the best chance of the game so far.
Nick Rogan played a great ball through the defence which put Carver one-on-one with Hinchliffe, but the Fylde keeper pulled off a fantastic save deny the Marine front man.
Fylde immediately hit the visitors on the break and the ball found its way to Dean on the edge of the box and he headed on for Barnes to connect with a looping header.
Dave Challinor was happy to have come out of this game with the win saying: “We didn’t play well by any stretch of the imagination but came out on the right side of the result. It was a game neither side really dominated but fortunately we got the goal which gave us the result.”
Victory puts the Coasters into the hat for today’s Second Qualifying Round draw as they look forward to the visit of Blue Square North’s Solihull Moors on Saturday in the FA Cup Third Qualifying Round.
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Haslam, Sumner, Hughes, Taylor, B. Barnes (C), Booth (Dorney 86), Winter, Jarvis (Dean 63), M. Barnes, Allen (Farrell 90); Subs not used: McCarthy, Steel.