Solihull Moors 3 AFC Fylde 1: Coasters pay the price for a slow start
AFC Fylde were made to pay for a poor opening half-hour as three goals for Solihull Moors condemned Jim Bentley to his first defeat as Coasters manager.
The opening goal came in direct fashion on 15 minutes as a deep, looping cross picked out Jamey Osborne inside the AFC Fylde penalty area.
Osborne’s clever header back across goal found Danny Wright, who was there to guide it home from close range and give the Moors an early lead.
Almost immediately after, Solihull pressed again with a corner finding Jake Beesley but the on-loan Salford City man headed against the woodwork.
They weren’t to be deterred, though, and they soon had a penalty when Osborne was tripped.
Striker Paul McCallum stood up to take the penalty, sending Sam Hornby the wrong way by dispatching the ball low into the bottom right-hand corner.
Shortly afterwards, the game seemed to be beyond the Coasters’ reach as a long throw from McCallum picked out centre-back Callum Howe, who headed into the top corner.
It seemed that the game would be over as a contest until, on the stroke of half-time, the Coasters gave themselves a lifeline.
A long ball was chased down by Jordan Williams, who got the better of Ryan Boot and found the onrushing Ryan Croasdale.
It was near enough an open goal for the Fylde man, who made the most of the opportunity to pass the ball into the net.
With the Coasters trailing 3-1 at the break, the second half began in the same fashion with them looking good in possession and more likely to make things happen.
Ten minutes after the restart, the Coasters had a penalty shout turned down as Howe looked to haul down Croasdale.
It could have been a pivotal moment but, in this instance, the referee decided not to award the spot-kick.
Fylde could sense the tide had turned, though, and on the hour mark it was Croasdale who was again at the heart of proceedings for them.
A quick counter-attack saw Matty Kosylo cut the ball back for Croasdale but a fantastic tackle from Gavin Gunning prevented him from making the score 3-2.
The Coasters saw another penalty shout waved away when Danny Rowe’s effort struck the hand of Alex Gudger.
The one-way traffic continued as Bentley’s players went as close as possible to scoring with Croasdale striking the bar from close range after Williams had been played in.
The feeling that it wasn’t to be Fylde’s afternoon had set in, and after Croasdale could not react in time to turn home a Kyle Jameson effort, one final goalscoring opportunity fell their way.
Alex Whitmore was picked out, and while it looked as if he would give the Coasters one final chance in the dying stages, his header was cleared off the line by Nathan Blissett.
The full-time whistle came, and with it Bentley’s first taste of defeat, but there will have been plenty learned about his side against high-flying Solihull.
Solihull Moors: Boot, Reckord, Gudger, Osborne, McCallum (Neufville 89), Gunning (Hawkridge 82), Wright (Blissett 77), Vaughan, Howe, Ball, Beesley. Subs not used: Williams, Yussuf.
AFC Fylde: Hornby, Byrne, Whitmore, Kosylo (Yeates 68), Croasdale, Rowe, Philliskirk, Williams, Burke, Bradley (Forbes 77), Taylor (Jameson 40). Subs not used: Lavercombe, Montrose.
Referee: David Richardson.