Bradford Park Avenue 0, AFC Fylde 1
AFC Fylde fought their way back to the top of the Vanarama Conference North table thanks to a solitary goal from Danny Lloyd seven minutes from time away to Bradford Park Avenue.
Substitute Matt Blinkhorn made the goal after surging through from halfway to play a sublime ball into the box for Lloyd to race onto and shoot past Bradford keeper John Danby.
It was a slow start to the match but the home side enjoyed much of the early pressure. Joe Colbeck couldn’t keep his header on target under pressure from Adam Sumner 12 yards out and the ball fizzled away for a goal kick in the fourth minute.
Danny Rowe hit the wall with a 22-yard free kick which was won when Lloyd was pushed to the ground by Sam Patterson on 11 minutes and soon after Luke Dean’s through-ball was too much for Colbeck to chase and that went out for another goal kick.
Rowe then had another chance to give Fylde the lead on 18 minutes when Richie Allen’s low cross wasn’t cleared and he smacked a shot off Chris Howarth which went wide for a corner which unfortunately came to nothing.
Josh Wilson then came close to opening the scoring three minutes later but his half volley on the turn from Rowe’s flick-on flew inches wide of John Danby’s left post.
And Rowe came even closer to a goal on 27 minutes after Ben Hinchliffe’s long punt upfield eventually fell to him to fire a ferocious shot against the left post and back into play.
Lloyd then though he was brought down inside the six yard box going for another Sumner cross towards the back post but referee Michael Salisbury let play carry on.
As the half looked to be drawing to a close, Richard Marshall tested Hinchliffe with a long range strike which the Fylde keeper was equal to and in first half stoppage time Simon Ainge’s header saw the same outcome.
Fylde move to the top of the table by a single point, though perhaps only for 24 hours as Barrow can regain pole position with victory at home to North Ferriby on Tuesday night.
Fylde play for their final away fixture of the season at Harrogate on Saturday.