Result - Garforth Town 1-2 AFC Fylde PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 28 January 2012 19:07

 Garforth Town 1 (Walker 89)      AFC Fylde 2 (Booth 19, Barnes 63)


Referee: Thomas Bramall                                      Booked: Walton (Garforth) Fowler (AFC Fylde)

Attendance: 181


By Jordan Owens

Forward Adam Priestley was again absent from the Garforth Town squad as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. Matt Mathers was paired up front with Paul Walker as manager Steve Nichol made a number of changes from last week’s defeat at Curzon Ashton.  Oliver Hotchkiss captained the side as Milton Turner dropped to the bench. 

Top of the league AFC Fylde, arriving at the Genix Healthcare Stadium on the back of eight successive victories, highlighted the strength of their squad by only naming former Blackpool and Huddersfield striker Keigan Parker on the bench.

It was the visitors who made the brightest start to the match, looking confident on the ball and dominating possession.  The Miners goal came under threat in the first few minutes, Joe Booth played a superb through ball to Andy Fowler on the left flank, he cut inside brilliantly and his curling effort had Garforth goalkeeper beaten, but went just inches over the top of the goal.

Moments later it was the visitors who went close again, a Paul Jarvis corner fell to the feet of forward Mike Barnes, but he could only fire into the side netting.

On 19 minutes AFC Fylde’s dominance paid off as they took the lead through Joe Booth.  Fowler again found space on the left flank and laid the ball off for Jarvis to cross which was met by the diving header of Booth giving Higginson no chance.

The goal seemed to motivate Garforth who began to attack with real flair, Lawrance Hunter whipped in a superb free-kick which found the head of defender Matt Dempsey who was denied an equaliser after AFC Fylde goalkeeper Zac Jones made a great save tipping the ball over the crossbar.

Andrew Villerman then went on a dazzling solo run, taking on three defenders before racing into the Fylde penalty area, but he was unable to beat the advancing Jones.

Garforth continued to attack, and a route one clearance by goalkeeper Higginson sent Paul Walker clear, but hi
s first touch just gave the advancing Jones the advantage as he was able to save conceding a corner.  Hunter whipped the ball in and it fell kindly for Dempsey to hit on the volley but he sliced wide.

AFC Fylde almost increased their lead through Mike Barnes just before the break, he controlled a long ball before he cut inside to the Garforth penalty area, but Higginson made a fantastic save to deny the visiting front man, which turned out to be the last action of the half.

As the teams returned to the field, Garforth manager Steve Nichol introduced David Brown in the place of Matt Mathers as Town looked to get a foot-hold in the match.

In the early periods of the second half the game began to boil over as tempers flared, resulting in referee Thomas Bramall making his first booking of the day Garforth’s Chris Walton.

The visitors came close again to increasing the lead, forward Fowler held the ball up well for Booth to strike from distance, but Higginson denied him with another good save.

Ben Thornton was introduced to the action on 62 minutes, replacing Chris Fisher as Garforth chased an equaliser.

It was however AFC Fylde who increased their lead just a minute later though, another long range strike produced a good save by Higginson, but the Garforth goalkeeper could only put the ball into the direction of forward Mike Barnes who put the ball into the net with a classic poachers effort.

After the goal pacey Fylde striker Andy Fowler was lucky to still be on the pitch, appearing to strike defender Matt Dempsey at a Garforth free-kick, resulting in the pair squaring up.  Fowler was immediately subbed along with Paul Jarvis with Ben Waddington and Keigan Parker taking their places.  Steve Nichol made his final substitution of the day for Garforth bringing on Milton Turner in the place of midfielder Oliver Hotchkiss. 

On 82 minutes, AFC Fylde boss Dave Challinor bought on Sam Nightingale for Adam Sumner as the league leaders looked to cement victory.

Substitute Parker made an immediate impact causing the Garforth defence problems; he held up well and teed Paul Walkers' free-kick against Fyldeup Booth for another long range strike which went just inches wide.

On 89 minutes a Garforth comeback was on, Paul Walker was fouled on the edge of the Fylde penalty area, he stepped up to take the free-kick brilliantly curling the free-kick into the top right corner of the goal to give Garforth hope.

Garforth piled on the pressure with Higginson even joining the attack, but some scrappy defending by AFC Fylde was enough for them to hold on to victory, as the referee blew for full time.

The Miners suffer back to back league defeats, but the Evo-Stik First Division North play-offs still remain within touching distance.

Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2012 20:05