HYDE FC 3, AFC FYLDE 1
THE AFC Fylde pre-season bandwaggon came to a grinding halt with their first defeat in seven matches at the hands of Hyde FC.
The Blue Square Bet Premier side, now managed by former Fylde player/coach Scott McNiven, came out 3-1 winners at Ewen Fields, thanks to two late goals from Stefan Cox.
After a fairly even first half, the home side, nicknamed the Tigers, took the lead 14 minutes into the second period when Scott Spencer netted, but Isaac Kusaloka scored his third in two games for the Coasters, with a fine chip over the keeper from the edge of the box, with 15 minutes remaining.
However, with five minutes left, Cox twice ran rings around the Fylde defence, first in the 85th minute and then in the 90th, to score two impressive goals which gave the home side the victory.
The Coasters started well against last season’s Blue Square North Champions, with Adam Farrell firing just over the bar before Michael Barnes tested the home defence with some fine crosses into the box inside the first 15 minutes.
Farrell had another chance to open the scoring on 19 minutes but Hyde keeper David Carnell did well to deny the Fylde striker.
The Tigers began to get a foothold on the game, and it was a decent battle in midfield between two sides who like to play passing football.
Fylde full-back, Adam Sumner’s blushes were spared on 29 minutes when David Poole latched onto his wayward pass 30 yards out, only to shoot straight into the keepers arms from the edge of the box.
Callum Byrne tried his luck at goal late in the first half but, again, Hinchliffe stood in his way.
Going into the second half it was the home side who looked more likely to score, and that they did on 59 minutes through Spencer.
A good run from full-back Adam Griffin saw him able to squeeze a square ball through a defender and goalkeeper, for Spencer to be on hand to guide the ball over the line from close range.
The Coasters were undeterred, though, and immediately went in search of an equaliser which eventually came in the 75th minute. Some excellent build up play from deep inside their own half allowed Fylde to surge forward and, after an inch-perfect through-ball from Joe Booth, substitute striker Kusaloka was able to lob Carnell with ease to level the scores.
However, despite the efforts from the visiting team it was Hyde who got the just rewards when, 10 minutes later, Adam Carden was caught out on the edge of the box which allowed Cox to sail through the defence and calmly place the ball in the bottom right corner to make it 2-1.
He was not done there either, as in the final minute, he rounded Carden again in almost the same spot and cut inside to fire in the bottom left corner this time to double his tally for the evening.
Despite the defeat, manager Dave Challinor would not be too disappointed with the overall performance of his side as for most of the game, the Coasters more than matched their Blue Square Premier opponents.
The Coasters will now move on to their final home pre-season game against another Blue Square team, Guiseley, on Saturday afternoon before the season starts properly at Ilkeston, two weeks later.
That game kicks-off at 3pm.