Wrexham 0 AFC Fylde 1: Back to back wins delight boss Jim Bentley as Danny Philliskirk scores first of season
Danny Philliskirk’s first-half bullet was enough for Jim Bentley’s Fylde side to claim their first win at Wrexham.
Two National League wins in four days have lifted the Coasters five points clear of the bottom four.
Bentley named an unchanged side from Saturday’s 3-0 victory over Dagenham and Redbridge, with club captain Lewis Montrose continuing his gradual comeback by again coming off the bench.
Fylde’s first attempt on goal came from Saturday scorer Mark Yeates, who cut in from the left wing before unleashing a low strike that was gathered by Wrexham keeper Rob Lainton.
Dan Bradley’s foul gave the home side a set-piece opportunity and Sam Hornby was forced to save Jake Lawlor’s header low to his right.
The home side looked dangerous early on, with recent loan signing Omari Patrick particularly threatening, but the Coasters' defence stood firm.
Fylde took the lead on the half-hour as neat play from Danny Rowe and Jordan Williams got the Coasters on to the attack
Rowe played the ball across to Philliskirk, who took a touch before firing into the bottom corner from outside the area, his first goal of the season.
Fylde oozed confidence, though a ferocious Rowe effort from distance was the closest Fylde came to adding a second before the interval as Lainton made a smart stop.
The home side were on the front foot immediately after the restart. A curling Paul Rutherford effort was stopped by Hornby, who also held a deflected Omari Patrick strike.
The home side continued to impress as Patrick found space with some tricky footwork before firing wide – he seemed the likeliest source of something happening for Wrexham.
Hearts were in mouths briefly in the Fylde dugout as Wrexham had the ball in the net from a looping Akil Wright header – however the referee disallowed the goal for a foul on Hornby by former Fleetwood favourite Bobby Grant.
Rowe was replaced for the final half-hour by Montrose, who continues to build his minutes after injury.
Fylde soaked up pressure and looked to threaten on the break, with Ryan Croasdale galloping through on goal from a clever Yeates ball. But the midfielder was caught in two minds, Lainton saving Croasdale's shot with his feet.
Yeates was soon at the heart of another Coasters counter – this time his crossfield ball picked out Dan Bradley, who forced a save from Lainton from close range.
The home side forced a flurry of late corners but were unable to break the Coasters defence.
That's four clean sheets in six games under Bentley and a precious win which opens up a seven-point gap between 18th-placed Fylde and Wrexham in 22nd.
I’m absolutely made up,” said the Fylde boss. “It’s been a fantastic couple of days for us.”
“We had tor respond well from the Solihull result. We’ve had a positive mindset and we were excellent on Saturday.
"I said again tonight, 'Saturday stands for nothing and you need to back it up'. Not much happened until we took the lead and from there it was only us that looked as if we’d score. We were worthy of our lead.
“Wrexham changed their shape and personnel, and it was all hands to the pump for us but that’s what you expect.”
“We also made changes, and for all the ball they had we had the best two chances, so I’m delighted."
Fylde: Hornby, Burke, Byrne, Whitmore, Duxbury (Jameson 80), Croasdale, Philliskirk, Bradley (Kosylo 86), Yeates, Williams, Rowe (Montrose 63); subs not used: Lavercombe, Haughton.
Wrexham: Lainton, Jennings, Pearson, Summerfield (Redmond 81), Lawlor, Young, Rutherford (Tollitt 72), Wright (Harris 63), Grant, Patrick; Subs not used: Kennedy, Dibble
Referee: Karl Evans