AFC Fylde 0 Clitheroe 1
AFC Fylde must wait to clinch their Evo-Stik First Division North play-off spot after losing out to a late Clitheroe goal at Kellamergh Park.
Robert Turner’s 81st-minute winner meant Fylde slip a spot to fourth, leapfrogged by Chorley who beat Wakefield 2-1.
And Warrington Town’s 3-1 win at Durham City means Kelham O’Hanlon’s Fylde side still require four points from their final three games to be certain of a top-five finish
Clitheroe’s own play-off hopes may have faded but striker Robert Turner ensured Fylde would not defeat them this season when he beat home defender Phil Doughty to a cross and scored from ten yards.
A further blow for the Coasters was the loss of top scorer Tom Cahill (right) with a suspected hamstring injury after 25 minutes.
Fylde had created several opportunities but could not find a way through a defiant Clitheroe back line.
The home side made the brighter start and struck the woodwork twice in the first ten minutes. Cahill hit the bar with eight minutes gone and Matt Walwyn struck a post from Michael Barnes’ cross a minute later, Cahill pouncing on the rebound only to see his shot cleared off the line.
Walwyn looked very dangerous in the early stages and drove agonisingly wide on 17 minutes from Cahill’s lay-off, having started the move himself in his own half.
Clitheroe became increasingly dangerous as the half wore on, with Nathan Taylor and Turner causing problems on the right.
They had four good chances before the half time whistle was but couldn’t direct the final shot on target. Both sides continued to create chances in an even second half, Walwyn seeing two more go begging on 59 and 65 minutes.
Then came Turner’s killer blow, and although an offside flag denied them a second three minutes later there was no way back for Fylde.
Clitheroe grew in confidence and Fylde couldn’t force an equaliser, despite four minutes of added time.
Fylde manager O’Hanlon said: “I was disappointed to concede that goal but the biggest disappointment was Cahill going off injured. It was a big blow for us.
“It’s a setback but you’ve got to take it on the chin and we have to be ready for the game on Saturday.” That will be another home clash against second-bottom Ossett, in which Fylde will be anxious for victory in the race for a home tie in the play-offs.
Fylde: Edge, Lawler, Elderton, Doughty, Stringfellow, Mercer, Kay (Steel 85), Mahoney, Cahill (Bell 25), Walwyn, Barnes (Townson 75); not used: Stevenson, Hills.