|Venue: Mill Farm Date: 15-08-23 AFC Fylde 2 Harriers 1 Att: 995 (away fans: 100)
Three late goals don’t go in our favour
Report: Phil Lench
The Harriers came away from AFC Fylde this evening after suffering our first defeat of the season and giving Fylde their first. An equally matched first half didn’t provide any goals but it was the Harriers that came the closest to scoring when a Zak Brown volley forced the home keeper, Theo Richardson, into tipping the ball over the bar when it looked to be in.
In reply Luke Charman sent in a shot, from Danny Whiteheads excellent pass, that sent Christian Dibble diving across the goalmouth to tip the ball around the post for a Fylde corner that came to nothing. In between those two chances we witnessed a strange two minutes as the referee and his assistant discussed something between themselves and then went and booked Russ Penn and the former Harrier Adam Murray, and Fylde manager, for arguing and then gave the Harriers a free kick.
A minute after Charmans chance up the other end Nathaniel Knight-Percival was testing their keeper with a shot that was aimed straight at him. A few minutes later and it was Christian Oxlade-Chamberlains turn and shoot as he let fly on the angle but it went over the bar.
The half came to an end with the Harriers having just about edged it in chances but about equal in possession.
HT: 0 – 0
The second half got underway with the Harriers on the front foot and looking the more likely to open the scoring. The Ox, again, had another chance to open his account with an on target shot that hit a defender and went up over Richardson and the bar.
Finally Ashley Hemmings, giving yet another lifeless display, woke up and flashed a shot across the face of goal that Amari Morgan-Smith couldn’t quite connect with and Richardson collected easily. Changes began to be made after that effort with Jack Lambert coming on for Zak Brown even though Zak had been playing well and giving Fylde something to think about.
Lambert was soon in action with two chances that went close. The first after being set up by Hemmings and letting fly for a defender to put out for a corner and then soon after another chance for the ex Darlington FC man to fire straight at Richardson. We were now well on top but that was soon to change.
Fylde made some changes and they then began to press us more in the hope of us making a mistake and that’s just what happened. Charman had already gone close with a chance but when Nick Haughton played the ball into the box he was the first to the ball to toe it past both Alex Penny and Dibble to give his side the lead.
He was in action again a minute later when his cross met the head of substitute Gold Omotayo who sent the ball crashing against the crossbar as they almost made it 2-0. Omotayo had another chance straight after but wasted it when one on one with Dibble he dithered and Dibs collected the ball, bravely, at his feet.
Lucky for us we had, previous to the goal, bought on Kieran Phillips for Hemmings and he was to be our saviour for a few minutes when we caught Fylde flat footed in the middle of the park and Richardson off his line. Phillips, with the ball at his feet, looked up and lobbed the ball over the keeper and we were back in the game.
With ten minutes or so left we just had to hold on but, no, we couldn’t manage that and Luke Conlan scrambled the ball over the line with three static Harriers defenders all watching him.
So came to an end our brilliant run of fourteen games unbeaten and our first defeat since since March 7th last season. We’ve done well these past months and we should have done better tonight but a defence that falls asleep and a toothless strike force up front is going to see us lose more games unless we do something about it soon.
FT: 2 – 1
Goals for AFC Fylde: Charman 79, Conlan 85
Goal for Harriers: Phillips 83
The Harriers Online MotM is: Kai Lissimore
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|Mr Michael Barlow