AFC Fylde enjoy a winning end to their pre-season training camp
AFC Fylde continued their preparations for the National League North campaign with a comfortable 5-1 victory against Welsh Premier League side Cefn Druids.
Emeka Obi scored twice in the first half, either side of a Jack Sampson goal, before Nick Haughton and Ben Tollitt completed the job behind closed doors at the Rock Stadium.
The match concluded a successful week’s training camp for the Coasters at Dale Army Barracks in Chester.
They fielded a strong side, mixing youth and experience, with 10 substitutes coming on in the second half.
The game began at a frantic pace, with the Coasters immediately getting to grips with the artificial surface.
They didn’t have to wait long for the opening goal either as a Liam Nolan cross found Obi unmarked, six yards from goal, and the centre-back headed into the bottom right corner.
The hosts soon levelled, hitting the Coasters on the break, but they wouldn’t be on terms for long, though.
A mistake from the Druids keeper allowed Sampson to round him and tap the ball home unopposed.
The Druids would have a chance to equalise again when they were awarded a penalty for a pull by Jack Byrne, only for Bobby Jones to guess correctly and tip away the spot-kick.
Fylde made the most of the let-off as the unmarked Obi headed his second from Haughton’s free-kick.
Danny Philliskirk and Haughton had good efforts well saved by a keeper working overtime in the scorching heat.
Coasters’ boss Jim Bentley made three changes at the break, with Jordan Hulme, Alex Whitmore and Luke Conlan replacing Obi, Sampson and Luke Burke.
Hulme went close to adding a fourth a couple of minutes into the second half, poking the ball across the face of goal.
Tollitt then teed up Haughton for a trademark curling effort which beat the keeper but smacked against the post.
The fourth goal came from an incisive Coasters break as Tollitt released Hulme one on one and he unselfishly squared the ball for Haughton to roll into an empty net.
Tollitt completed the scoring 15 minutes from time, linking up with Hulme before curling a beautiful shot into the top corner from the edge of the box.
The changes continued as Bentley gave opportunities to Academy products Owen Robinson and Harvey Gregson in the closing stages, both looking comfortable and confident in possession.
Bentley was a happy man and said afterwards: “I’m really pleased with how today went.
“We looked confident going forward with some nice link-up play, particularly down the right-hand side.
“We’ve managed the heat well, scored some excellent goals and come out of the game with no fresh injuries, which is all you can ask for in pre-season.”
Bentley was full of praise for two-goal centre-back Obi and added: “He’s 6ft 6ins, strong, powerful and has shown himself to be a real threat at set-pieces.
“He only played the first 45 minutes but managed to get himself two goals and probably should have had a hat-trick.
“He’s really benefited from the week we’ve had at the barracks and his confidence has really grown in the last few weeks.”
AFC Fylde: Jones, Burke, Obi, Byrne, Trialist, Philliskirk, Nolan, Haughton, Tollitt, Osborne, Sampson. Subs: Neal, Whitmore, Conlan, Perkins, Joyce, Shaw, Hulme, Robinson, Gregson, Jones.
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