Telford United 0 AFC Fylde 1
Danny Rowe’s second-half winner handed AFC Fylde the perfect start to the new National League North season at AFC Telford United.
An open game at the New Bucks Head Stadium was decided by a goal of real quality shortly after break as the Coasters earned their first three points of the campaign.
Manager Dave Challinor handed debuts to five summer signings – including former Chelsea keeper Rhys Taylor – in a new look line-up for the Coasters.
Telford were presented with a fantastic opportunity to open the scoring inside the second minute when Dom Collins was adjudged to have fouled David Hibbert on the edge of the area.
But the resultant free-kick from former Coaster Josh Wilson was charged down and cleared to safety.
A clever piece of play shortly before the 10-minute mark almost resulted in the first goal, as a quick throw in was flicked on by Rowe, but Brendon Daniels fired just over from 15 yards.
Telford’s Jack Rea went closer still when he was allowed far too much space to gallop into the Fylde area and forced new keeper Taylor into a fine save.
The match was becoming an end-to-end affair and Coasters centre-half Collins really should have done better when he met Daniels’ whipped corner.
Fylde were the team in the ascendancy as the half wore on and Rowe was not far off with a snapshot from the edge of the box after Daniels’ free-kick was blocked.
Great work by the corner flag by Bohan Dixon allowed Matty Hughes space to break into the area seconds later, but his low drive was turned around the post by James Montgomery.
Hughes thought he had grabbed the opener after a melee in the Telford box but somehow his goal-bound strike was cleared off the line.
The game drifted harmlessly towards the break and as the clock reached 45 minutes, a frustrated Rowe was booked for an accumulation of fouls.
However, the second half burst into life after just two minutes and it was Rowe who twisted and turned 25 yards from goal before unleashing a piledriver into the bottom left-hand corner.
Bucks midfielder Dan Preston should have equalised instantly but somehow fired over from six yards.
The lead was so nearly doubled when Daniels delivered a delightful corner from the right however Josh Langley’s header crashed back off the crossbar.
Debutant George Newell was brought on in the dying stages and the Coasters held out until the final whistle for a valuable three points.