AFC Fylde 2 Stamford 0

Danny Lloyd for Fylde

Danny Lloyd for Fylde

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Fylde defeated Stamford for the second successive Saturday to stretch their unbeaten run to 17 matches, 15 of them won.

Matthew Blinkhorn scored the opener, just as he had a week earlier in Lincolnshire, as Fylde dominated the first half and Danny Lloyd came off the bench to seal victory two minutes from the end.

The Coasters, revelling in last Monday’s Lancashire FA Challenge Trophy triumph, should have led by far more at the interval.

Joe Booth forced a save from Will Jones, Richie Allen shot over and had another effort blocked by the keeper’s legs, Andy Russell guided Sean Cooke’s cross over the bar and Adam Sumner’s fine curling shot from outside the box was just too high – and all in the opening quarter of the match.

The chances continued as Cooke shot just wide and cup final hero Michael Barnes was inches away from converting a pin-point Allen cross at the back post.

Allen saw another effort go wide before providing the cross which finally saw the deadlock broken on 39 minutes. His searching cross towards the six-yard box was met by Blinkhorn, who headed past Jones.

Three minutes later, Barnes could have doubled the lead when Cooke’s cross found him in acres of space at the back post, but a heavy first touch enabled Jones to save.

The second half was a complete contrast to the first as Fylde struggled to maintain their intensity and Stamford pressed for an equaliser.

Fylde did create the first chances of the half, however, but Barnes and Cooke failed to trouble the keeper.

Jon Challinor had the visitors’ first chance of note but could only find the roof of the net in attempting to lob keeper Ben Hinchliffe from the edge of the box.

Daniel Lawler shot over on 61 minutes and Blinkhorn missed a golden chance to double his side’s lead 10 minutes later. After some excellent build-up play, the Fylde striker turned expertly but shot well wide when it looked easier to score.

Stamford’s top scorer Ryan Robbins was denied by Hinchliffe and that proved the visitors’ last clear chance with 12 minutes left.

The points were sealed when Lloyd, replacing Allen, cut inside and blasted the ball in off the post with virtually his first touch.

Manager Dave Challinor said: “In the first half the lads were unbelievably good, probably the best we’ve played, and I don’t think that’s a surprise on the back of Monday’s win.”

“But were were as bad in the second half as we were good in the first.

“I suppose some would see results as more important than performances, but I’m a big believer that if you produce the performance the results will take care of themselves.

“The game should have been dead and buried in the first half-hour because eight unbelievable chances were not taken.

“We made it difficult for ourselves in the second period as we didn’t play how we want to play.”

The three teams above Fylde in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier won too but the Coasters remain within three points of leaders Chorley.

Chorley could stretch their lead at Ashton on Wednesday, with Fylde next in action on Saturday at Frickley Athletic, seeking their first ever win at Westfield Lane.

CHRIS PARK

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hankin, Sumner, Denson, Russell, B. Barnes (C), M. Barnes, Booth (Winter 76), Blinkhorn, Cooke (C. Hughes 76), Allen (Lloyd 87); Subs not used: M. Hughes, Charnley.