Wanderers get into a fog against Chester
The opening skirmishes were fairly even with Fylde edging it but after 15 minutes Chester seemed to find some belief that they could win and stepped up a gear. Loads of pressure led to Fylde conceding a penalty but Chester spurned the chance. However on 25 minutes they took the lead with a well crafted try which was converted.
Fylde had to re-jig the back line when the promising 18 year old full back Mike Dutton had a recurrence of his neck injury and had to leave the field to be replaced by Gavin Kelly.
On 35 minutes Fylde were dealt a killer blow when Mark Briggs received a yellow card for persistent penalties in the 22. From the resultant scrum, and with the home side a man down, Chester walked the ball over the line for a second converted try.
Wanderers to their credit came back strongly and earned a penalty in the 22 but Ryan Miemczyk spurned the chance.
At half time Joe Brockbank who had been suffering with tonsilitiis made way for Tom Maden-Wilkinson in the front row and John Embelton, home from university, replaced Kelly who had a recurrence of a shoulder injury. Embo immediately made an impact when he scored a fine penalty. Unfortunately it was to no avail and to use a Brian Clough saying, 'you are never more at threat of conceding a score when you've just scored yourself' as Chester added a further converted try.
A further injury meant that Fylde once more reshuffled the back line with Miemczyk able to only hobble around on the wing, Mark Edwards moved to outside half, Mark Norris to fullback and Embelton to outside centre. Guess what? This seemed to reinvigorate Fylde and with the returning Matt Wilkinson and Aodhan Carson teaming once again like they did a few seasons ago the Wanderers were soon on the front foot and scored an excellent try on 65 minutes when Wilkinson scored with Embelton converting.
However, the fightback was short lived and was ruled out completely when Joe Birtwistle received a yellow card for a late challenge. The game fizzled away to a 21-10 victory for Chester which was fully deserved. Fylde never really threatened and too many players were below par. Two losses in a row is worrying and the early season zip has gone, not helped by the enforced changes due to illness, injury and cup ties. The effort was there but the incision wasn't.
Next week the challenge is hard with an away trip to Macclesfield in the cup.
Report by Ian Cosh.