A.F.C. Fylde 5-2 Tranmere Rovers: Coasters end Super Whites’ Unbeaten National League run as 2018 starts with defeat

By Joel Lampkin

Tranmere Rovers’ impressive form came to an end as A.F.C Fylde humbled The Super Whites at the Millfarm stadium.

Both sides started slow before Danny Rowe tapped home a spilled save by Scott Davies midway through first half.

Fylde poached two more goals in quick succession before adding a fourth 15′ minutes into the second-half, although Tranmere’s Ollie Banks clawed one back in the 60th minute.

The Coasters added a fifth from close range while the in-form Connor Jennings slotted home a stoppage time penalty to keep the score-line respectable.

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A cold setting for the two National League clubs vying or a place in the Playoffs (image: Joel Lampkin)

The loss, sees Tranmere drop points for the first time in five league fixtures as they hover in sixth place with a game in hand over fourth placed Dover Athletic.

It was a bitterly cold afternoon at Millfarm and both sides’ recent forms suggested a routine victory for Rovers although it was anything but.

The script did not go to plan, as a much more physical and imposing Fylde were on display a world away from the side beaten at Prenton Park on Boxing Day.

Rovers struggled to move the ball in the opening few minutes on the heavy pitch and the home-side took full advantage of their increasing frustration.

An innocuous delivery from a controversial free-kick was poorly cleared by the away side, as the rebound found Rowe who tapped home from close range to open the scoring.

Tranmere were stunned and fell victim to another error as Banks lost possession in the middle of the park, Jack Muldoon carried the ball into the open space and fired home from distance.

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Jack Muldoon fired home from distance to double the scoring (image: Steve Mclellan/AFC Fylde)

The effort bobbled past Davies into his bottom left corner, as the away-side were left frozen along with the travelling support behind the goal.

As Tranmere tried to recoup, the offside trap caught out James Norwood on multiple occasions as the home side subdued the striker who has managed just one in his past four games.

A lively run from young Jonny Smith created more punishment for Rovers as his byline cross found its way to Zaine Francis-Angol who tapped home from five yards out, in a stunning display of teamwork.

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Jonny Smith was one of the standout stars for the home side (image: Steve Mclellan/AFC Fylde)

Just before half-time, things went from bad to worse for Tranmere as their shot stopper Davies sought medical attention, and was forced to leave the field with a suspected groin injury leading to the inexperienced Luke Pilling to take his place.

Sensing the need for some fresh legs, Micky Mellon hauled off Larnell Cole for Eddie Clarke with the youngster a surprise omission from the starting XI.

Tranmere started the second half as bad as the first; a series of poorly delivered corners created very little with the travelling support becoming increasingly frustrated as play continued.

Fylde punished Rovers for their missed chances as a free-kick from deep was nodded home by Jordan Tunnicliffe, with the ball sailing over Pilling, who could only watch in horror as the home-side went 4-0 up.

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Luke Pilling could only watch as the ball lobs him for AFC Fylde’s fourth (image: Steve Mclellan/AFC Fylde)

Against the run of play however, Banks pulled one back to add a sense of competition to the fixture with his powerful effort blasting the bottom corner of Jay Lynch’s goal.

However, The Super Whites struggled failed to find a route back into the game and Fylde quickly took control of the ball once again as they searched for a fifth.

With the game drawing to a close, the home-side put the game out of reach for Rovers as 17-year-old Serhat Tasdemir tapped home following some quick and slick passing.

In stoppage time however Jennings was brought down inside the box and slotted home the resulting penalty to increase his goal tally to seven goals in five games for the midfielder.

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Connor Jennings tucked home his seventh in five games as he is brought down for a penalty (image: Steve Mclellan/AFC Fylde)

Who was your Man of the Match?

Attendance:

3065

How the team lined up:

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5 thoughts on “A.F.C. Fylde 5-2 Tranmere Rovers: Coasters end Super Whites’ Unbeaten National League run as 2018 starts with defeat

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