Banbury United 3 AFC Fylde 1: First away game brings defeat

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Fylde fell to their first defeat of the season against newly-promoted Banbury.
Read More
AFC Fylde boss praises new boy's immediate impact ahead of Banbury United trip

The Coasters broke new ground for their first away league match of 2022-23, visiting Oxfordshire to face the Southern Premier Division Central champions at their Banbury Plant Hire Community Stadium.

Connor Radcliffe's fierce opener for the hosts was cancelled out by a Nick Haughton penalty but the hosts were back in front by half-time thanks to Alex Babos' long-range effort.

Captain Alex Whitmore went close for Fylde with this header Picture: AFC FYLDECaptain Alex Whitmore went close for Fylde with this header Picture: AFC FYLDE
Captain Alex Whitmore went close for Fylde with this header Picture: AFC FYLDE

Jak Hickman's tap-in sealed the points in the second half.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fylde boss James Rowe stuck with his starting XI from the opening-day win over Kettering Town, with just one change on the bench, where Luke Conlan replaced Harry Davis.

Banbury set a high tempo early on and created the first shooting chances as Hikman dragged an effort wide and Babos blasted over.

They took the lead in the 11th minute, from a free-kick awarded against Alex Whitmore for a foul on the edge of the area.

Jack Stevens' strike eventually fell for Radcliffe, who smashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fylde soon had chances of their own as Whitmore headed inches wide from Haughton's free-kick, then a mistake by Banbury keeper Jack Harding left the visitors two-v-one on goal. However, Joe Rowley's effort was blocked on the line.

Rowe’s side were level in the 38th minute, when Haughton converted a spot-kick powerfully into the bottom corner following a shove on Rowley.

But Banbury were unfazed, went straight back on the attack and regained the lead five minutes later.

Babos’ laced effort from 25 yards looked to have been saved by Chris Neal but the ball trickled into the bottom corner at his near post.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fylde were soon on the front foot in the second half, though Banbury's Giorgio Rasulo smashed a fierce strike against a post on the counter-attack before Neal gathered.

And the Puritans, playing in the sixth tier of the English game for the first time, made it two wins out of two with their third goal on 65 minutes.

Morgan Roberts reached the by-line and flashed a ball across the face of goal, leaving Hickman with a back-post tap-in.

The Coasters' best chance to pull one back fell to Rowley, following a superb through-ball by Danny Philliskirk, but Harding was out quickly to deny him.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Fylde ended the game with 10 men, Jordan Cranston shown a straight red card following a collision with Hickman in the 90th minute.

Fylde hope for better fortunes on the road on Tuesday when they visit Farsley Celtic, who have taken one point from their opening two games.

Captain Whitmore said of the defeat: “That's not us, it's not how we train day in, day out, so it's disappointing. It needs serious work because that's not what we're about. It's not what we represent.”

Banbury: Harding, Roberts, Smile, Williams, Rasulo (Landers 80), Roberts, Acquaye (Brown 88), Hickman, Stevens, Radcliffe, Babos; Subs not used: Owens, Taylor, Hawtin.

Fylde: Neal, Whitmore, Obi, Bird (Conlan 68), Barrett (Osborne 51), Cranston, Philliskirk, Whitehead (Patten 58), Rowley, Haughton, Holmes; Subs not used: Simkin, Morrison