REPORT | AFC Fylde 3-1 Chester
Chester fell to defeat this afternoon at big-spending AFC Fylde, despite staging a spirited fightback at Mill Farm.
The game looked to be over early in the second half as Nick Haughton’s double and Douglas Taylor’s strike had the Coasters in command.
But Kevin Roberts’ header gave the Blues hope, and the Chester barrage saw chances – including striking the post twice – but the home side held on to the win.
Manager Steve Watson made one change from Friday’s draw with Kidderminster. It was enforced, as Matty Waters missed out due to injury – Kevin Roberts recovered from illness to replace him.
It was the worst possible start for the Yellows as Coasters top scorer Haughton gave the hosts the lead. Taylor picked him out on the edge of the box, and the Fylde number ten found the bottom corner of the net,
The home side started strongly, and almost doubled their lead moments later. A corner was hooked back into the area by Danny Philliskirk, nodded on by Harry Davis and headed just wide by Taylor.
Chester rode the early pressure and slowly got back into the game. Their first meaningful effort coming on 26 minutes when Marcus Dackers found Declan Weeks on the edge of the box, but he drilled the shot just over.
But the yellows, looked to be just one down going into the break, were dealt a blow when Referee Andy Sykes awarded a penalty for an alleged trip by Darren Stephenson on Sam Osborne.
Haughton stepped up to calmly dink the penalty into the net and double the advantage at the interval.
Fylde pushed their advantage further on 56 minutes when the lively Taylor tapped home at the back post from Nathan Shaw’s deflected cross.
Nevertheless, a matter of moments later Chester were back in it. Good initial play by Stephenson ended with him finding George Glendon – and the skipper’s ball across the box was guided home by the head of Roberts.
Chester kept pushing. Subs combined as Zack Clarke’s cross found Anthony Dudley, but his shot was well blocked – before Glendon’s low cross deflected and struck the post on 62 minutes.
Haughton then nearly completed his hat-trick at the other end with a shot from 30 yards – but it whistled just off target.
Clarke almost cut the deficit in half on 84 minutes when the substitute drilled one low from range, seeing his attempt cannon off the post and rebound to safety.
Moments later, Weeks blasted one after patient build up play which was saved and held by Bobby Jones.
A goalmouth scramble brought the final chance in added time, as Jones saved bravely from Harrison Burke.
CHESTER: Gray, Roberts, Williams, Burke, Fitzpatrick (Grand 57), Sargent, Weeks, Glendon, Apter (Dudley 57), Dackers (Clarke 57), Stephenson.
SUBS NOT USED: Stanway, Roache.
SCORERS: Haughton 3 & 43 (pen), Taylor 56; Roberts 58.