AFC Fylde 5-1 Stratford Town
FA Trophy, First Round
Report by Bryan Hale
STRATFORD bowed out of the Buildbase FA Trophy at Mill Farm Stadium as AFC Fylde predictably had too much class for Thomas Baillie’s side.
On a wild afternoon of storm force wind and lashing rain the Coasters had the result wrapped up by half-time.
Against their high-flying National League opponents, Stratford made the worst possible start going behind in only the fourth minute.
Keeper Ross Etheridge came out to collect a through ball but spilled it at the feet of Nick Haughton who slipped it across for Serhat Tasdemir to fire into the net.
Haughton was soon giving the Stratford defence all sorts of problems with his skill on the ball and when he was fouled on the edge of the penalty area on 19 minutes the Coasters took the opportunity to double their lead.
Danny Rowe hit a low free-kick which was parried by Etheridge and Danny Williams reacted quickest to slide the loose ball home.
Mike Taylor shot wide when Stratford had a rare sight of goal on the half-hour mark, but they went three down in the closing minute of the first half with another mistake at the back.
Lewis Wilson dithered on the ball and was dispossessed by Haughton who promptly released Rowe down the middle and Fylde’s leading scorer ran on to shoot past the advancing Etheridge.
With the gale behind them after the break, Stratford came more into the game in the second period, with Albi Skendi having a shot easily held by keeper Russell Griffiths who then held a header from Jordan Williams.
But Fylde were always comfortable and Tasdemir added his second and the Coasters’ fourth with an assured finish from 15 yards out with eight minutes to go.
Jordan Williams pulled one back for Stratford on 89 minutes, only for Fylde to go down the other end with Danny Williams drilling in their fifth.