Match report: Ebbsfleet United 1 AFC Fylde 3

Danny Rowe scores his second goal at Ebbsfleet United     Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Rowe scores his second goal at Ebbsfleet United Picture: Steve McLellan

Two more goals from Danny Rowe and Gime Toure’s smart run and finish maintained AFC Fylde’s unbeaten start as they won 3-1 at Ebbsfleet United.

All the goals came in the second half to leave third-placed Fylde just a point behind leaders Wrexham.

Dave Challinor made two changes to the team that had played out a second successive goalless draw against Harrogate Town last Monday, granting a full debut to Ash Hemmings and a place on the bench to latest signing Tom Brewitt.

Both teams pressed hard in the early stages, and after only three minutes, the referee had no option to but show a yellow card to Ryan Croasdale for a late challenge on Ebou Adams.

The game began to settle and Fylde were playing with confidence, looking dangerous after just five minutes as the alert Nathan Ashmore cut out Zaine Francis-Angol’s cross.

Fylde clearly had the upper hand as the midfield trio of Andy Bond, Jim Kellermann and James Hardy impressed with their one-touch passing, the latter teeing up Rowe for a 15th-minute first-time shot which fizzed just wide.

However, both defences remained solid until Fylde almost took the lead in bizarre circumstances on 28 minutes from Jack King’s overhit back pass.

Keeper Nathan Ashmore slipped but recovered to clear the ball for a throw just before it trickled over the line.

The home side was guilty of overhitting crosses in promising positions and it was almost half-time before Fylde keeper Jay Lynch had a save to make, comfortably dealing with Sean Shields’ drive from the edge of the box.

Fylde pressed further forward at the start of the second half and took the lead in fortunate style four minutes in.

Hardy’s free-kick was played to Rowe, who turned defenders inside out and mishit his cross, only to see the ball nestle in the far corner.

Another last-gasp tackle by Danny Kane denied Myles Weston a shooting chance for Ebbsfleet after the Fylde defence failed to deal with a long ball on 54 minutes.

Rowe’s second of the game and seventh of the season gave Fylde breathing space three minutes later.

From a short corner routine, Croasdale’s shot from 25 yards looked bound for the corner of the net until Ebbsfleet captain Dave Winfield blocked the ball with a hand.

Only one player was going to take the free-kick from a central position three yards outside the box.

Keeper Ashmore guarded the left side of his goal and could only stand and watch as Rowe’s free-kick beat the wall and sailed into the opposite corner.

Both sides made double substitutions as the game opened up, with Jordan Tunnicliffe returning after injury to provide aerial support to the Fylde defence.

However, it was a home substitute who made the first impact by halving the deficit on 77 minutes with an outstanding strike.

Corey Whitely picked up the ball 25 yards out and dispatched an unstoppable drive into the top corner.

This gave Ebbsfleet impetus and Challinor gave a debut toBrewitt in place of Kellermann but it was another substitute who dashed home hopes of an equaliser with four minutes remaining.

A long ball from the back reached the pacy Toure just inside the Ebbsfleet half and he showed no nerves to calmly find the far corner.

Ebbsfleet United: Ashmore, Magri, King, Winfield, Weston, Rance, Drury (McQueen 66), Adams (Powell 58), Coulson (Whitely 58), Shields, Kedwell. Subs not used: Cheek, Bush.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Francis-Angol, Byrne, Kane, Burke, Kellermann (Brewitt 82), Bond, Croasdale, Hemmings (Tunnicliffe 69), Hardy (Toure 75), Rowe. Subs not used: Cardle, Tasdemir.

Referee: Tom Reeves.

Attendance: 1,395.