Recap: AFC Fylde 2-1 Harriers

Recap of the key action from Saturday’s defeat at AFC Fylde…

AFC Fylde 2-1 Harriers. Image: (c) KHFC

A LATE Fylde goal saw Harriers head home empty-handed from Field Mill courtesy of a 2-1 defeat in National League North on Saturday.

The Reds’ afternoon had got off to pretty much the worst of starts, going a goal down after six minutes and losing Omari Sterling to a knee injury after nine. From there a long day looked in prospect.

As it was, the response was excellent and the leveller when it came – thanks to an explosive Joe Foulkes finish – was deserved. Harriers started the second half on top and had looked a good bet for at least a point when one lapse in concentration did for them and handed the hosts a winner with less than ten minutes left to play.

Fylde, undoubtedly title favourites this season, showed their evident qualities in the game’s early stages. They went ahead after Haughton had showed strength and composure in the area before firing into the corner of the net, the ideal start for Jim Bentley’s men.

Fylde then defended well and worked hard to nullify threats that had been building through the likes of Sam Austin, bodies being thrown in the way of things early to ensure goalkeeper Neal stayed largely un-troubled in the first 45.

Similarly while Tollitt and Haughton remained a danger for the home side, Luke Simpson was never truly tested again before the half-time whistle blew.

With that half having ended far more evenly, Harriers did as Fylde had in the first by flying out of the blocks in the second. After Bajrami had deflected wide a Tollitt shot, a charge forward saw a low, dangerous cross fired into the area, missing red and white shirts on its way to Foulkes who steadied himself before firing an effort into the net that gave Neal no chance.

Austin then curled an effort off target as Harriers began to build momentum, before Tollit forced Simpson into a smart reaction save at the near post.

Bajrami, with the hour gone, then headed over before Haughton and Hemmings traded free-kicks that both went past the target. There was soon another injury blow for Harriers as Lewis Montrose was forced off after an impressive display.

Simpson’s biggest contribution to the afternoon by a distance came 11 minutes from time – the Haughton and Tollitt double act looked to have all the time in the world to pick their spot for a winner, but having saved one shot from outside the area from one, Simpson was soon back up to dive on the follow-up from the other.

The winning goal came with 83 minutes on the clock and with Stephen Dobbie’s first real touch. A clearance had come back quickly at Harriers who were hesitant in defending it, allowing the veteran freedom to take it forward and fire it beyond Simpson.

Get the full teams and key match facts at The Match Centre.

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