Spirited Town exit the FA Trophy at a stormy Fylde
By Andy Chilton
Blues early errors set the Coasters on the road to victory
Match Report by KEVIN HAND , Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS , Photographs by GRANTY
AFC Fylde v Stratford Town Saturday 15 December, 2018 3.00 pm
at Mill Farm, 1st Round Buildbase FA Trophy
AFC Fylde 5 Stratford 1 (HT 3-0)
• Such groans of roaring wind and rain….
Mill Farm is an impressive and modern football ground and if AFC Fylde achieve league status this year they should be more than ready for the challenge. The hospitality areas are particularly impressive. The stadium boasts 2000 seats in front of the Directors’ and Corporate glass-plated viewing area. Having said that the stadium with its high roof is open to the elements and so was an inhospitable environment for the 400+ souls on the terraces on this bleak December Saturday on the Blackpool coast. The welcome was warm and professional but I’m told less so at the refreshment kiosk for the brave visiting Townites.
The pitch was immaculate and this allowed for some quality football from both sides with the aerial route rarely employed. As a contest it was done on 19 minutes if not as early as 4 minutes with 2 uncharacteristic goalkeeping errors from the usually reliable Ross Etherington. The weather played its part. A routine ball into the Town area seemed to be the goalkeeper’s all day long; but first it skidded of the greasy surface; then it held up in the fierce breeze Town were playing into; and then it was spilled. A melee ensued before Serhat Tasdemir finished in style.
On 19 minutes Town conceded a free kick 25 yards out. The muscular Danny Rowe struck a low and powerful shot through the Town wall. Etheridge got behind the ball but it ricocheted into the path of Danny Williams who made no mistake.
Town were missing the injured Jamie McAteer From their starting line up and Kynan Isaac was unavailable. Wetwood came in at left wing back, Lewis Wilson reverted to defence and Claudio Dias started on the right. Fylde, having done their homework on Chris Cox, pressed Zaine Francis-Angol forward and it wasn’t until the second half that the Town wing back was able to offer an attacking option.
Danny Rowe added a third for The Coasters on 45 minutes by which time the writer’s paper notes were in tatters, sodden with rain and barely decipherable. Discretion being the better part of the valour this scribe retired to a warmer spot for the second half.
With Fylde’s foot off the pedal Town came back into the game to show their quality. Passing was neat and concise but once the home side was back in possession Fylde was even less likely to concede.
Grocott, Skendi, Cox and Carvalho all combined at different times to create half chances but with Taylor contained by a pacey and athletic Fylde back line the elusive goal never came. Tasdemir scored his second and Fylde’s fourth on 84 minutes as Fylde returned to the ascendency. After a corner in additional time Grocott sent the ball into the area again and Jordan Williams scored a consolation goal for Town. Almost immediately Danny Williams replied with his second and Fylde’s 5th.
This particular adventure is over but Tuesday beckons in the home game against Coalville in EvoStik Premier Division Central with an opportunity to return to a play off spot. The quality and the passion are there as long as the heart and desire remain!
Man of the Match – James Fry
* Such groans of roaring wind and rain… King Lear Act 3 Scene 2
Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
| Stratford||AFC Fylde|
|8||Crosses into Box||11|
No cards for either side a reflection of the sportsmanship displayed by both teams
Festive Period Home Matches:
Tuesday 18 December Coalville (H) League KO 7.45pm
Wednesday 26 December Banbury (H) League KO 3pm
Saturday 29 December Stourbridge (H) League KO3pm