A Danny Rowe screamer proved to be the difference as AFC Fylde got their season off to the perfect start with a 2-1 win over Bromley, writes Machel St Patrick Hewitt.

Last season’s National League top scorer proved why he continues to be a striker in high demand with a winner of the highest quality midway through the second half.

Collecting a pass on the right touchline Rowe feinted past two defenders before curling a left foot strike into the top corner.

Having turned down a six figure offer from Cheltenham for Rowe and made him the highest paid player at the club. Rowe gave every indication why he will be integral to any success Fylde have this season.

Coasters manager Dave Challinor was effusive in his praise for Rowe’s intervention, he said: “We couldn’t get a foothold in the game in the first twenty minutes but we had some decent phases once we settled down. Our winning goal came out of nothing but it was a goal fit enough to win any game. Danny has that ability and we know what he can do. He is a matchwinner”

The match itself was largely an even affair but one that Fylde created the better chances in throughout. As early as the third minute Danny Philliskirk’s one-two with James Hardy resulted in the former side footing wide when well set in the penalty area.

Bromley’s high press was effective with regards to not allowing Fylde time to settle on the ball but other than a Marc-Anthony Okoye header from a Frankie Sutherland corner they failed to really threaten Jay Lynch in the Fylde goal.

Fylde to their credit did not panic and were the more dominant side in the last fifteen minutes of the first half.

Jack Holland had to be alert to stop a goalbound Rowe volley after good work from Hardy before Okoye repeated the feat blocking Luke Burke’s effort.

With Fylde in the ascendancy summer signing Joe Cardle then sent a 20 yard drive just over David Gregory’s crossbar.

It seemed inevitable that the home side would eventually take the lead and they did so on the stroke of half time. Dan Johnson failed to stop Cardle’s cross and Coaster’s skipper Andy Bond was able to ghost in past the static Bromley defence to tap into an open net.

Ravens manager Neil Smith expressed his frustration at the nature of the goal “We switched off and it was a disappointing way to concede with only two minutes to go to the interval”.

In response to the goal Smith responded with an early change in the second half bringing on Bobby-Joe Taylor and playing a 4-4-2. The change seemed to do the trick and led to a series of opportunities on the hour mark.

First George Porter headed wide from a Frankie Sutherland free kick before the Ravens equalised with a well worked goal. Frankie Raymond’s quick feet released Jordan Higgs in space just outside the penalty area, the young midfielder was able to nutmeg his marker and drive into the penalty area slotting underneath Lynch.

Smith said, “We wanted to push on in the second half and we put wingers on and Jordan responded with an excellent goal”.

Bromley could have taken the lead minutes later but Lynch denied Omar Bugiel with an excellent point blank save.

However, Rowe’s individual brilliance was to take all the wind out of their sails as Fylde were able to see out the remainder of the game with little to no concern.

Bromley are at home to Dover Athletic on Tuesday night (August 7, 7.45pm).