Hartlepool United 1 AFC Fylde 2: Loan star Gnahoua's dynamic debut

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

Inspired by a  win over Boreham Wood and boosted by the arrival of Arthur Gnahoua from Shrewsbury on loan, the Coasters ended November with a victory which lifted them to fourth in the National League.

READ MORE: Fylde sign Shrewsbury attacker Gnahoua
The Coasters made one change, as Danny Williams was replaced by Andy Bond, who had shaken off the strain he picked up at Dagenham and Redbridge.

It was an open start as Fylde’s Gime Toure burst in from the left and shot from a narrow angle but keeper Scott Loached palmed his effort behind for a corner.

Fylde looked to take a foothold in proceedings against hosts who had lost their last five in the league.

Danny Rowe’s first effort was a low, powerful shot which skidded left of the post.

Bond was at the heart of Fylde’s early work, finding himself in advanced central positions and dropping wider.

The first real chance fell to the Coasters as Rowe saw an effort cleared off the line as he cut inside to prod the ball beyond Loach.

The ball was fired back into the box and looked to have struck a Pools hand, but the officials weren’t interested.

Pools’ best chance of the first half fell to Ryan Donaldson just five yards from goal but he missed the ball which came to him at speed.

Donaldson drove forward from midfield. His eventual shot looked destined for the bottom corne but Lynch made a strong two-handed save.

Just before the interval, Fylde made the breakthrough. Ryan Croasdale was alert to play in Haughton, whose whipped ball was met by Rowe and his effort nestled in the bottom corner.

The Coasters had deserved the goal for their first-half dominance and positive approach.

The game could have been over early in the second half as Rowe raced through one-on-one with Loach in the 53rd minute.

Rowe had perhaps too much time to pick his spot and the keeper was able to make a fine stop.

Pools ramped up the pressure for an equaliser. A misjudged clearance from the otherwise unflappable Zaine Francis-Angol afforded Hartlepool a chance to counter but Luke Burke was on hand to make a fantastic tackle on Luke James as he was about to pull the trigger.

In this positive spell for the hosts, Jay Lynch was called upon to tip Connor Newton’s towering header over the bar.

Pools brought on top scorer Liam Noble, while Fylde introduced their new loan signing Gnahoua for his debut.

And it didn’t take long for him to introduce himself to the Fylde faithful.

Rowe found Gnahoua lurking outside the box with a quick pass. The debutant took a touch before steering a low shot into the net on 74 minutes.

The Pools had no choice but to attack and in the 84th minute they pulled one back.

A ferocious corner was handled by Croasdale and the referee pointed to the spot. Lynch got a hand to Noble’s penalty but couldn’t keep it out of his bottom left corner.

The final five minutes were followed by five minutes of injury time and saw both teams have chances to score.

Danny Philliskirk was played through by Rowe but again Lynch was on hand to deny him.

Tempers flared in added time and Noble went into the book for a dangerous tackle on Neill Byrne that he reacted badly to.

Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Byrne, Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Bond, Croasdale (Brewitt 88), Philliskirk, Haughton (Hemmings 74), Toure (Gnahoua 66), Rowe; not used; Serhat Tasdemir, Danny Williams

Hartlepool: Loach, Richardson, Magnay, Featherstone, Kitching, Anderson, McLaughlin (Noble 62), Donaldson, Newton (O’Neill 66), Hawkes (Muir 79), James; subs not used; Kioso, Butler.

Ref: James Oldham

Att: 1,721