AFC Fylde 3 Dagenham and Redbridge 0: First-half goal spree seals first league win for Jim Bentley
Fylde blew the Daggers away with a superb first-half display to record their first National League victory under manager Jim Bentley.
The manager made two changes to the side beaten 3-1 at Solihull Moors as Mark Yeates replaced Matty Kosylo out wide, while full-back Scott Duxbury made his first appearance since early last month.
Midfielder Lewis Montrose would come off the bench for his first appearance since August.
And Yeates would quickly repay Bentley for selecting him as the opened the scoring on 16 minutes.
Dan Bradley received the ball on the right flank and whipped over a cross which the unmarked Yeates volleyed his first goal for the club into the top corner.
The Daggers looked for an immediate response and had a great chance to equalise but Fylde’s on-loan keeper Sam Hornby denied Spaniard Joan Luque from close range.
Fylde were determined to add an all-important second as Neill Byrne headed wide from Yeates’ corner to the back post, then Ryan Croasdale – looking to score for a third successive game – saw his shot blocked after being played in by Jordan Williams.
Danny Rowe brought down a cross well and teed up Danny Philliskirk on the edge of the box but the midfielder dragged his shot wide.
But with the wind in their sails, Fylde succeeded in putting daylight between the sides with two goals in as many minutes as half-time approached.
And it was Williams who made it 2-0 on 42 minutes, running on to the ball and taking one touch before firing past keeper Elliot Justham for his sixth of the season.
And two minutes later, Rowe made it eight goals for his campaign with a sure-footed finish which put Bentley’s side in total control.
The quickfire double came as a hammer blow to the Daggers, who had scored six against Aldershot Town a week earlier and were determined not to suffer a similar fate.
They visitors looked to start the second half positively and were boosted by the introduction of pacy winger Bagasan Graham, who proved a thorn in the side of the Fylde defence.
They had the first shot in anger of the second period as midfielder Mitch Brundle fired over from distance.
At the other end, Rowe’s free-kick rebounded off the wall and the striker volleyed a follow-up effort which stung the palms of Justham.
One fantastic run by Graham saw him beat Byrne for pace and bear down on goal only for a fantastic sliding tackle by Alex Whitmore to keep Fylde’s clean sheet intact.
The rest of the game was fairly uneventful as Fylde saw out a comfortable win which leaves four points between themselves and the bottom four, with a chance to stretch that gap wider with Tuesday’s visit to Wrexham.
Bentley said: “We were disappointed last week at Solihull but there’s plenty to be proud of today.
“We created numerous chances and could probably have had three or four more on another day.
“We said to them at half-time: ‘We’ve shown how good we can be in that first half – let’s show them how professional we can be in the second half.’”
Fylde: Hornby, Duxbury, Burke, Byrne, Whitmore, Croasdale (Haughton 84), Philliskirk, Bradley (Montrose 69), Yeates, Williams, Rowe (Kosylo 78); subs not used: Lavercombe, Jameson.
Dag & Red: Justham, Eleftheriou, Wright, Robinson, Stevenson, Clark, Brundle (Wood 86), Kandi (Dobson 85), Luque (Graham 45), Grant, Quigley; subs not used: McQueen, Seaden
Ref: Lewis Smith