Eastbourne 1 AFC Fylde 4: Full report and reaction

Danny Lloyd celebrates his goal with Josh Wilson  Picture: Steve McLellan
Danny Lloyd celebrates his goal with Josh Wilson Picture: Steve McLellan
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Fylde made it four wins out of four in 2016 as they came from behind to progress to the third round of the FA Trophy.

The 14-hour round trip to the south coast proved worthwhile as goals from Josh Langley, Danny Lloyd (2) and Danny Rowe saw the Coasters through to the last 16.

It also rewarded the club’s determination to get their first-round replay against waterlogged Skelmersdale played at the fourth attempt last Wednesday, when they sacrificed their prize money in order to fund the rental of Salford’s AJ Bell Stadium.

Dave Challinor made three changes from the team that beat Skem 4-0, with Josh Wilson, Stephen Crainey and Richie Baker coming in for Brad Barnes, Alex Whittle and Matty Hughes.

Both sides traded possession early on but it was the Coasters who had the first big chance, when Crainey fed Rowe and he turned his marker before firing narrowly wide of the right post.

Eastbourne, struggling in Vanarama National South, responded as Sam Beale took on Caspar Hughes, cutting on to his right foot and bending a shot over Matt Urwin’s goal.

Fylde began to stamp their authority on the game, dominating possession, and a Baker cross almost met Tom Hannigan’ head at the back post.

Miguel Baptista had an effort for the hosts, although his shot from 25 yards was scuffed after a slip and was easy for Urwin.

A corner from Lloyd almost brought the first goal but Josh Wilson’s near-post flick, a carbon copy of Rowe’s goal in mid-week, went just the wrong side of the post.

Moments later the Coasters had the best chance so far as Sam Finley beat his man to a loose ball in the box and drilled a shot which thundered off the woodwork.

Nice passing play from the Coasters saw Finley have another effort, this time from the edge of the box, but the keeper saw it all the way.

The hosts took a surprise lead after 29 minutes, when Nathan Collier turned in the box and shot from six yards, and although Urwin got a hand to the effort he couldn’t prevent it creeping into the right corner.

Fylde responded in the best possible fashion just five minutes later.

Baker’s cross from Lloyd’s short corner brought about a goalmouth scramble, which culminated in Langley stabbing home from a couple of yards out.

Dion Charles almost gave the Coasters the lead after beating his marker and rounding the keeper, but his shot from a tight angle flashed agonisingly wide of the left post.

Rowe had an effort from 20 yards blocked by a defender and seconds later the referee called time on a first half which the Coasters had taken control of without taking the lead.

Just seconds after the restart they were ahead. Lloyd ran at the Eastbourne defence before cutting on to his favoured left foot and firing low underneath Carey.

Miguel Baptista nearly scored a stunning equaliser for the hosts, when his right- footed shot from the edge of the box flew narrowly wide of the top right corner.

Eastbourne started to gain some momentum and Gavin McCallum’s low effort from 12 yards nearly crept into the bottom left corner, with some in the crowd prematurely cheering an equaliser. A second goal from Lloyd put Fylde in control just after the hour mark.

Finley shot from the edge of the box and his effort was deflected into the path of Lloyd who fired an effort on the half- volley and the ball crept into the bottom right corner.

Lloyd should have completed his hat-trick a few minutes later. Rowe played in the winger, who was one-on-one with goalkeeper Carey, but this time his strike was agonisingly wide of the right upright.

Challinor made his first change with 20 minutes to go as Matty Hughes replaced Charles and the substitute felt he should have been awarded a penalty after being pushed from behind when he was about to shoot.

Fylde sealed their victory with seven minutes to go, when Finley played in Rowe on the right and he took showed no mercy, smashing home from 10 yards.

Eastbourne threatened a late consolation but Urwin stood firm to deny Nathaniel Pinney after the powerful striker forced Langley off the ball.

Manager Dave Challinor believes the benefits of long-distance trips were evident in Fylde’s victory at Eastbourne.

The Coasters boss said: “We are delighted to be through to the next round. These long trips can be good sometimes because they can really galvanise you and get everyone together.

“We travelled down the day before, which helped, and now we have a rare free week to prepare for the league game at home to Worcester on Saturday.

“We have been scoring a lot of goals recently and we have been tight at the back too. That was the first goal we have conceded since the turn of the year. We did OK in the first half, but we knew at the break that the game was there to be won.

“We had been comfortable in possession and we thought we could step it up. We certainly did that in the second half.

“It was a really good performance in the end and we saw the game out very comfortably.”

And the manager was delighted to see the goals shared around on the souch coast.

He added: “Danny Rowe has been in great form recently but we challenged a few of the other lads to chip in with goals.

“During my time we have been a team where the goals are shared around and we wanted to get back to that.

“Rowey has been taking a lot of the weight in terms of goals – and he scored again – so for others to pitch in was great.

“We can look forward to Monday’s draw now knowing we are just three rounds from a Wembley final.”