AFC Fylde 4.Lancaster Ciy 1
TOM Cahill’s hat-trick saw AFC Fylde romp to a superb win at Kellamergh Park despite an early scare last night.
Tony Hesketh’s young Lancaster side went at the home team from the first whistle and were rewarded when Billy McKenna’s speculative 25- yard drive clipped a Fylde defender and flew past keeper Lewis Edge after only two minutes.
Confident city continued to press the home side in the opening stages and had further chances to score, with McKenna and Dave Swarbrick both going close and causing problems for the home defence.
However, Fylde then showed their own attacking credentials and created opportunities of their own.
Michael Barnes picked up Joe Booth’s sweeping ball from the right and charged down to the touchline. He returned the ball to Booth, who had made a surging run into the box and headed inches wide.
Cahill’s hard work chasing down City’s defenders paid off as he won the ball back and got behind the defence. However, from his cut-back skipper Ricky Mercer blazed over the bar from inside the box.
The home side continued to come back strongly and got on level terms after 22 minutes.
Cahill got beyond his markers to power home a header at the back post from Paul Jarvis’ inswinging corner. Fylde finished the half on top but it remained level at the break.
Fylde came out even stronger for the second half and City old boy Jarvis released Cahill down the right. He smashed home emphatically on 57 minutes from just inside the box.
City youngsters McKenna and Max Rothwell both tested Edge with shots but it was the home side who were the more clinical.
Cahill notched his 19th of the season with another with a fine header on the hour, again from a Jarvis corner, to complete his treble.
With City now looking well beaten, Fylde added a last-minute fourth which was well worth the wait.
Andy Bell teed up midfielder Matt Mahoney outside of the box and his stunning 25 yarder which forced City keeper Martin Fearon into a spectacular save.
He turned the ball against the bar but it rebounded for substitute Matt Walwyn to control it, beat a City defender and fire into the bottom corner from close range.
It was a job well done for the Coasters, who move up to fourth place in Evo-Stik First Division North – overtaking a Curzon Ashton side held at Durham City and moving within two points of Chorley, beaten at home by Trafford, who host Fylde on Saturday.
Boss Kelham O’Hanlon was delighted with his team’s form with ten games to play.
He said: “It was a great result from the lads, especially after going a goal down so early on.
“They were an energetic young side and they tested us early, but as the game went on we got stronger and really improved from the Warrington game.
“It was exactly the response I was looking for. It’s been a positive week and the lads finished the job in style tonight.”
Fylde: Edge, Lawlor, Elderton, Doughty, Stringfellow, Mercer, Booth, Mahoney, Cahill (Bell), Jarvis (Townson), Barnes (Walwyn); not used: Stevenson, Steel