Darlington FC 1 AFC Fylde 0: Coasters surrender top spot with defeat

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The Coasters fell to defeat on the road as they were beaten at Blackwell Meadows in National League North.

 

Luke Charman’s strong strike into the top corner on the half-hour settled matters in the home side’s favour.

Fylde manager Jim Bentley had named the same side that beat Blyth Spartans 4-1, with David Perkins returning from injury and replacing Jack Byrne on the bench.

The Coasters made a bright start to proceedings, especially through winger Sam Osborne.

Jack Sampson was denied by a late save Picture: Steve McLellan

Jack Sampson was denied by a late save Picture: Steve McLellan

He made a few runs down the right flank, but it was the hosts who had the first real chance of the game.

Jarrett Rivers whipped a corner into the area and Charman, on the penalty spot, volleyed wide of goal.

He made no mistake, however, when he was found on the edge of the area before turning and firing into the top corner.

That separated the two teams at half-time, after which the Coasters came out looking for a way back into the game.

Ben Tollitt flicked a clever pass around Jake Cooper to set Nick Haughton free down the left.

He drilled an effort across the face of goal, where Jack Sampson couldn’t quite get a toe on the ball to turn it in.

The Coasters continued pushing forward, Kieran Lloyd crossing towards Sampson who was waiting at the back post.

His strike at goal fell to Tollitt inside the area, though he fired over from close range.

Haughton was next to have a go when he sent an effort towards the bottom corner, but Tommy Taylor got down well to save.

Sampson had a late chance when he was found at the back post by Luke Conlan.

He did everything right by hitting a left-footed strike towards the bottom corner, but Taylor made a great save.

Darlington FC: Taylor, Wheatley (Smith 77), Hedley, Hatfield, Charman, Rivers (Mondal 90), Ellis, Lambert (Dos Santos 90), Lawlor, Purver, Cooper. Subs not used: Storey, Nelson.

AFC Fylde: Jones, Lloyd, Obi, Stott, Conlan, Joyce, Nolan (Perkins 56), Osborne (Hulme 56), Haughton, Tollitt (Walker 78), Sampson. Subs not used: Neal, Robinson.