Barnes makes breakthrough in champs’ challenge

AFC Fylde's Michael Barnes vies for the ball - AFC Fylde vs Chester FC, Pre-Season Friendly, Kellamergh Park, 15 July 2012 (Greig Bertram | AGBPhoto)

AFC Fylde's Michael Barnes vies for the ball - AFC Fylde vs Chester FC, Pre-Season Friendly, Kellamergh Park, 15 July 2012 (Greig Bertram | AGBPhoto)

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AFC Fylde 1, Chester FC 0

Fylde recorded their first pre-season win yesterday against last season’s Evo-Stik Premier champions.

After both sides recorded 0-0 draws in their opening friendly in midweek, it was the Evo-Stik First Division North winners who sealed a confidence-boosting victory thanks to Michael Barnes’ 74th-minute goal.

Chester came to Kellamergh Park with a strong side and had the upper hand in the early stages, though efforts from Wes Baynes and Nathan Jarman did not test Fylde’s new keeper Ben Hinchliffe.

Fylde began to make inroads on 17 minutes, when Joe Booth and then Harry Winter forced Chester’s John Danby to make a couple of decent saves.

A fantastic period of end-to-end football saw both sides trading chances. Chester’s new signing from Fleetwood Town, Sean Clancy, went on a mazy run to the edge of box but his ball into the path of Adam Proudlock was well smothered by Hinchliffe.

At the other end, great Fylde build-up play ended with James Dean firing across the face of goal from a tight angle. Dean then back-heeled into Winter’s path only for the midfielder to fire inches wide.

Jimmy McCarthy was unlucky not to give the home side the lead when his shot was tipped around the post by Danby.

Nine minutes before the break, Dean headed in a corner but the goal was disallowed for a foul on Danby.

Both managers made a couple of changes for the second period, but neither side created much until Chester’s Antoni Sarcevic crossed too high for Clancy on the hour after a good run.

Fylde began to dominate and Paul Jarvis shot just over on 69 minutes.

The breakthrough came with 16 minutes to go, when Adam Sumner surged forward from right-back and his cross beat everyone except Barnes, who slotted home from six yards at the back post.

Fylde should have had a second on 82 minutes but substitute Mike Galliers’ shot was cleared of the line.

The Coasters now look forward to the visit of Wigan Athletic’s youngsters on Friday (7.30pm).

CHRIS PARK

Fylde: Hinchliffe, Jarvis, Sumner, Hughes, Steel, B. Barnes, McCarthy, Booth, Dean, Winter, Trialist; subs (all used): M. Barnes, Kay, Galliers.