FC Halifax Town 2 AFC Fylde 1: Match report and reaction

Danny Rowe opens the scoring for Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Danny Rowe opens the scoring for Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

AFC Fylde suffered their second defeat of the season against the club who came up with them from National North last season.

Seeking their third win in eight days, Danny Rowe gave the Coasters the lead shortly after the break with a sublime finish only for old foe Tom Denton to score twice for the Yorkshiremen.

Late substitute Matt Blinkhorn was dismissed in injury time as Fylde dropped five places to 17th.

Manager Dave Challinor made two changes from the side that beat Barrow on Monday, with new signing Luke Burke and full-back Josh Ezewele replacing Henry Jones and the injured Zaine Francis-Angol.

Former Coaster Dion Charles was a whisker from giving the hosts the lead inside 10 minutes, when he knocked the ball past Jordan Tunnicliffe on the edge of the area before firing a low effort a foot wide.

Halifax frontman Denton was proving a handful as usual but headed against his own bar from Jack Muldoon’s long throw.

Both sides were looking lively in the sunshine and Fylde keeper Rhys Taylor had to be alert to tip over Adam Morgan’s looping strike from distance.

Rowe was presented with his first opportunity on 25 minutes, when he cut inside and curled a shot agonisingly wide from 18 yards.

Dangerous Town winger Charles fizzed another low strike wide and Fylde’s all-time record goalscorer Rowe was ginches away when his vicious free-kick from 20 yards drifted just wide.

The Coasters ended the half with a glorious chance as Finley picked out Rowe, who left Scott Garner in his wake only to clip his strike over the bar from close range.

Fylde kicked off the second period with real purpose as James Hardy turned his man brilliantly only to be thwarted by the legs of Sam Johnson. The young midfielder had another great chance a moment later but lashed over from Finley’s cut-back.

Hardy should have scored when he latched on to a pinpoint pass from Rowe but shot tamely into Johnson’s arms.

Eleven minutes into the second half, Rowe finally got the goal Fylde’s play deserved. Simon Grand picked him out and the striker delicately chipped the stranded goalkeeper.

However, Halifax were level within two minutes. A long range strike from Josh MacDonald was tipped on to the bar by Taylor only for Denton to nod home the rebound.

Muldoon was very close to restoring Fylde’s lead with a curling strike that arrowed just over the bar.

Denton won it on 77 minutes, when neat interplay saw MacDonald find the towering frontman inside the area and his shot gave Taylor with no chance.

Fylde almost found the equaliser when Wigan loanee Burke’s delightful cross from the left was turned on to the post by Muldoon.

Blinkhorn had only been on a matter of seconds when he was deemed to have stamped on Scott McManus and was sent off in added time.

After back-to-back wins, it was back to the early-season frustration for Fylde boss Dave Challinor, who felt they deserved more at Halifax.

Challinor said: “Against Barrow we didn’t play particularly well and got three points, yet on Saturday we played much better and came away with nothing.

“It was really disappointing but we have to learn from it. We can do nothing about the result now but we can learn lessons for the next time we come up against that style of play.

“On the whole, with the chances that we created, we deserved something from the game. Football matches are decided in the penalty area and we let ourselves down at both ends.

“We played really well for the first 10-15 minutes of the second half and tore them to pieces at times. We had some real chances and should have been further ahead. We then score a great goal and concede a very cheap one within a minute.

“We went from being on the front foot to suddenly giving them a massive lift and changed the momentum. We should have punished them and once again it has come back to bite us.”

DANIEL AGNEW

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Ezewele (Richards 69), Montrose, Bond (Blinkhorn 88), Finley, Muldoon, Hardy (Smith 75), Rowe; Subs not used: Lynch, Jones.

Halifax: Johnson, Wilde, Brown, Garner, Hotte (Lynch 46), Oliver, McManus, MacDonald (Clarke 80), Morgan (Tomlinson 74), Charles, Denton; Subs not used: Nicholson, Dixon.

Att: 1,775

Ref: Glen Hart

Next match: Bromley (home, Saturday 3pm, Vanarama National)