Danny Rowe hit the target from a free-kick as AFC Fylde took home the FA Trophy at Wembley this afternoon, we hit the post three times in the second half but just couldn’t cross the line.
Orient got the game underway and kicked away from the 24,000 travelling fans who were in stunning voice, as were the Fylde support.
Our first chance fell to the skipper when James Brophy found his late run in to the box perfectly, Jobi McAnuff’s shot was blocked however and Fylde cleared their lines.
Andy Bond had Fylde’s first chance, Nick Haughton swung a delightful ball into the box but Bond’s connection wasn’t clean enough to test Dean Brill.
Brill was called into action again soon after, Haughton hit the side netting which had some of the Fylde supporters fooled in to thinking it was on target.
Our keeper proved busiest in the first 20-minutes, Alex Reid fired a first time effort at goal but Brill was again, equal to the attempt.
The Coasters saw a lot of the ball while the O’s defended strongly. Josh Koroma and Macauley Bonne worked hard in attack to create chances up the other end.
Koroma was involved again for the O’s, shortly before the 40 minute mark the forward turned his man and tried to find the top corner but agonisingly missed the target.
Fylde missed a golden opportunity to take the lead two minutes before the break. Danny Rowe dragged his shot wide of the target but into Andy Bond’s path at the back post, the defender somehow missed the target from four yards out.
Head Coach Justin Edinburgh made a change at the break and sent Jordan Maguire-Drew on in place of Jamie Turley, which saw a reshuffle of positions.
There was an instant impact from our number 10, his free-kick pinged back off the post before Fylde managed to clear for a corner.
Maguire-Drew took the resulting corner and perfectly found the head of Dan Happe who couldn’t keep the ball low enough to hit the target.
We struck the post for a second time from a similar combination, Maguire-Drew’s corner was headed on to the woodwork by Marvin Ekpiteta who out jumped his man at the back post.
Orient were much the better team in this second half, and Maguire-Drew was the centre of our attacks. He chipped the ball beyond the back line and found Craig Clay’s run, the midfielder’s first time effort was too high and missed the target.
It was Fylde however, who took the lead against the run of play, Rowe arrowed the ball over the wall and straight in to the top corner after a free-kick 20-yards from goal, bang on the hour mark.
Matt Harrold replaced Dan Happe with 20 minutes remaining again, warranting another reshuffle. Joe Widdowson immediately strolled in to the box and fired against the post for a third time this afternoon.
The rebound fell to Maguire-Drew who struck towards an open goal but the ball unfortunately hit Harrold who was in an offside position in the centre of the net.
McAnuff’s last action this afternoon involved chopping his man and wonderfully picking out Maguire-Drew who swung his boot at the cross but missed the target by inches.
Our skipper was then replaced by Charlie Lee who took the armband for his final appearance in and Orient shirt.
Maguire-Drew was involved again for the O’s he whipped a ball in with just four minutes remaining but Harrold couldn’t connect cleanly with his head as the ball bounced over the target.
Orient searched for a way back in to the game with five minutes added on but it wasn’t to be at Wembley this evening as our season ended under the arch.
ORIENT: Brill, Turley (Maguire-Drew 45), Ekpiteta, Coulson, Happe (Harrold 67), Widdowson, McAnuff (Lee 78), Clay, Brophy, Koroma, Bonne
SUBS: Sargeant, Ling
FYLDE: Lynch, Francis-Angol, Byrne (Brewitt 12), Tunnicliffe, Bond, Croasdale, Rowe, Philliskirk, Birch (Crawford 90+3), Haughton (Odusina 74), Reid
SUBS: Griffiths, Hardy
GOALS: Rowe (60)
REFEREE: Andrew Madley