Booth keeps wind in Fylde’s sails

Action from AFC Fylde v Ossett Albion.'Joe Booth's shot goes across the goalmouth. PIC BY ROB LOCK'21-1-2012

Action from AFC Fylde v Ossett Albion.'Joe Booth's shot goes across the goalmouth. PIC BY ROB LOCK'21-1-2012

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AFC Fylde 3, Ossett Albion 0. A second-half brace from Joe Booth enabled Fylde to stretch their winning run to eight games and stay top of Evo-Stik First Division North.

The high winds posed problems for both sides, and the first shot on target in a goalless first half came from Paul Jarvis after 16 minutes.

Released by the previous weekend’s hat-trick hero Michael Barnes, Jarvis’ shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved by Albion’s Phil Wood.

Booth fired across the face of goal two minutes later but then the visitors had a good period of pressure, in which Joe Fox forced Zac Jones into a 23rd-minute save.

Coasters defender Phil Doughty converted an inswinging corner from Booth after 37 minutes only to have the goal ruled out for offside.

The home side proceeded to pepper the Albion goal as Bradley Barnes saw a header cleared off the line and Glen Steel’s header brought a fantastic save from Wood, Booth finding the side-netting with the rebound.

Keigan Parker could only shoot straight at the keeper on 40 minutes but the striker played a major part in the deadlock-breaker a minute later. Tyson Gay was first to Parker’s cross but could only head the ball past his own keeper from close range.

Fylde never looked like surrendering their lead in the second half.

Man of the match Bradley Barnes continued to dominate the midfield alongside Booth, whose corner looked destined to find the net on 51 minutes only for Wood to palm the ball against the bar, enabling his defence to clear.

Bradley Barnes then twice went close with headers, the first sailing inches over from namesake Michael’s cross.

The all-important second goal arrived on 62 minutes. AFC were furious not to be awarded a penalty for handball on the goal-line, but the referee soon pointed to the spot for a foul by Aday Hayton on Booth, who duly converted.

Michael Barnes and Matty Kay both went close before Booth’s second sealed victory with ten minutes left – a wind-assisted 40-yard free-kick which flew over the stretching keeper.

Fylde manager Dave Challinor was happy with the win but disappointed with his side’s overall performance.

He said: “We won but if we play like that next Saturday at Garforth we’ll be beaten.

“The wind certainly played a part and I think Ossett passed it better in the second half, but we went through the motions until the last ten minutes, when I thought we did well.”

This weekend’s opponents Garforth went down 3-1 at Curzon Ashton, who remain behind Fylde on goal difference.

CHRIS PARK

AFC Fylde: Jones, Heywood, Sumner, Doughty, Steel (C), B. Barnes (Waddington 80), Booth, Kay, Parker (Fowler 65), M. Barnes, Jarvis; Subs not used: McDonald, Mercer, Nightingale.