AFC Fylde 3, Stalybridge Celtic 0
The Coasters ended a run of four league games without a win with this routine home victory over struggling Stalybridge.
Danny Lloyd gave Fylde an early advantage on a cold and wet afternoon before victory was sealed in the last half-hour with Richie Allen’s 10th of the season in Vanarama Conference North and a late Danny Rowe strike.
Even so, it was the visitors who made the brighter start until Fylde took the lead after 10 minutes.
Adam Sumner’s cross from the left found Lloyd unopposed and he found the back of the net with relative ease.
The goal settled the Coasters, who had drawn their previous three league matches, and they proceeded to take control with plenty of possession.
Jamie Allen went close after being played in one on one with the goalkeeper but his shot was palmed away, then Lloyd headed wide when in a good position to double his tally.
Stalybridge’s best chance of an equaliser in the first half arrived when the ball fell to Matthew Regan 25 yards out but he blazed over.
Just before the half-time whistle, Joe Booth was brought down on the edge of the area and Stalybridge’s Todd Jordan was booked.
Josh Wilson stepped up to take the free-kick and rattled the crossbar from 30 yards out.
The visitors looked threatening after the break as a Stefan Galinski header flew just wide and then Ben McKenna forced a good save out of Fylde keeper Ben Hinchliffe.
But Fylde had a fine opportunity for a second shortly afterwards, when Jamie Allen seized on a mix-up at the back to get in behind the defence. His effort was saved and the rebound effort from Lloyd was also blocked.
Both Jamie Allen and Lloyd went close again, as did Sumner, all within a minute before Fylde finally scored the second goal which effectively killed off the Stalybridge challenge.
Man of the match Lloyd did well down the right and delivered a superb cross which Richie Allen despatched with a diving header on 63 minutes.
Celtic continued to have their fair share of possession but struggled to creat chances, although Kevin Holsgrove was close with a fierce 30-yard effort.
And substitute Danny Rowe rubbed salt in their wounds with a close-range strike on 84 minutes.
There was one more big cheer for Fylde as young Cory Bent came on for his home league debut in the final five minutes, much to the delight of the fans and staff alike.
Stalybridge played their part in a good game but the Coasters were too strong as they consolidated third place in the table.
Coasters boss Dave Challinor added: “We deserved the result for a professional performance and we cna go into Saturday’s FA Trophy tie against Gainsborough with a win behind us.
“When we’re on our game, it’s hard to stop us and Stalybridge probably felt that today’’.