AFC Fylde put their recent Wembley heartache behind them to lift the Buildbase FA Trophy, with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Leyton Orient.
The Coasters, who lost to Salford City in the National League play-off final at the venue just eight days before this game, ensured a successful end to the season thanks to a stunning free-kick from local boy Danny Rowe.
- The Buildbase FA Trophy Final
- Sunday 19 May 2019
- Wembley Stadium connected by EE
And it also completes a unique double for the Lancashire club, who won the FA Vase when playing as Kirkham & Wesham back in 2008.
For Orient, they will make the short trip back to east London with disappointment after hitting the woodwork on three occasions, but they can also reflect on a successful campaign having sealed their return to the EFL by winning the National League title.
Fylde had to overcome an early blow too, after losing their captain Neill Byrne after just ten minutes due to concussion. The Irishman wasn't happy about being replaced, but fortunately for Fylde it didn't affect their early rhythm.
And they came the closest to scoring in a cagey first half, with Orient keeper Dean Brill forced into a good save to deny Alex Reid’s stinging left-footer after 20 minutes.
Then Andy Bond should’ve done better when Rowe’s cross-shot found him at the far post, but he couldn’t make full contact and his effort flew wide.
A darting run from Nick Haughton and a clever pass inside then picked out Reid in the box, but he couldn’t generate enough power to really test Brill, as Dave Challinor’s side edged the first 45 minutes.
O’s boss Justin Edinburgh introduced Jordan Maguire-Drew at the break in a bid to get his side going and the winger almost had an immediate impact, as his free-kick bounced back off the post after he’d clipped it over the wall.
The woodwork came to Fylde’s rescue again soon after as Maguire-Drew’s floated corner was met by Marvin Ekpiteta, only for his head to hit the outside of the post and away to safety.
But it was Fylde who took the lead on the hour mark, as Rowe’s unstoppable free-kick flew over the wall and into the top corner with Brill left helpless to prevent it. A goal worthy of winning any game.
There was still time for the O’s to be denied by the post for a third time in the 70th minute, when Joe Widdowson made a darting run forward from left-back before seeing his angled shot crash against the post. The rebound fell to Maguire-Drew, but his shot hit fellow sub Matt Harrold on the line and Fylde could breathe again.
And they held their nerve too, managing the closing stages of the game to see off the five minutes of stoppage time and enjoy their Wembley moment.
AFC Fylde: 1 Jay Lynch, 3 Zaine Francis-Angol, 4 Neill Byrne (c), 5 Jordan Tunnicliffe, 6 Andy Bond, 8 Ryan Croasdale, 9 Danny Rowe, 10 Danny Philliskirk, 16 Arlen Birch, 27 Nick Haughton, 30 Alex Reid
Substitutes: 21 Tom Brewitt for Byrne 12, 18 Timi Odusina for Haughton 74, 11 Tom Crawford for Birch 90
Substitutes not used: 13 Russell Griffiths, 7 James Hardy
Manager: Dave Challinor
Goals: Danny Rowe 60
Leyton Orient: 1 Dean Brill, 3 Joe Widdowson, 6 Josh Coulson, 7 Jobi McAnuff (c), 8 Craig Clay, 9 Macauley Bonne, 15 Daniel Happe, 16 James Brophy, 19 Josh Koroma, 21 Marvin Ekpiteta, 23 Jamie Turley
Substitutes: 10 Jordan Maguire-Drew for Turley 46, 18 Matt Harrold for Happe 68, 22 Charlie Lee for McAnuff 78
Substitutes not used: 24 Sam Sargeant, 2 Sam Ling
Head coach: Justin Edinburgh
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant referees: Nick Hopton & Akil Howson
Fourth official: Matt Donohue
Total attendance (both Vase & Trophy Finals): 42,962