Crainey inspires Coasters victory

Matty Hughes is congratulated after scoring
Matty Hughes is congratulated after scoring
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Former Premier League star Stephen Crainey helped AFC Fylde close the gap at the top of the National league North with a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Hednesford Town.

The ex-Celtic, Southampton and Leeds star made his debut for the Coasters after signing for the club just hours before kick-off.

The defender joins the club following his release from Fleetwood Town in the summer.

Crainey began his career with Glasgow Celtic, spending seven years with the Scottish champions, before switching to the Premier League with Southampton in 2004.

The 34-year-old was soon on the move again to Leeds, before sealing a switch to Blackpool in 2007.

He made over 300 appearances over six years for the Tangerines before joining Wigan Athletic.

Capped on 12 occasions by Scotland, Crainey spent a season with the Latics before moving to Fleetwood last summer.

Matty Hughes netted the only goal of the game on Saturday inside the opening ten minutes of the match.

Substitute Alex Whittle played in Hughes on the left hand side of the box and he in turn cut inside and fired low into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Despite coming under pressure for large part of the match, the Coasters firm.

Hednesford fashioned their best chance of the afternoon 15 minutes from time when Todd’s header looked to be finding the top corner, however Ben Hinchliffe was equal to his effort and pulled off a sensational fingertip save.

They then had the ball in the back of the net a moment later, but the linesman came to the Coasters’ rescue to rule out Ahmed Obeng’s tap in.