Garry Hill thought his Fleet side played some of the best football he’d seen from them in the first half against AFC Fylde but that the chances that went begging were ultimately punished.
“I thought the first half we were all over them,” he said. “I thought the football we played in the first half was very, very good, probably the best football we’ve played in the first 45 minutes since we’ve been at the club. We created several chances but didn’t take them. It was their first real chance after 30 minutes, where we’d given the ball away cheaply on the halfway line, they punished it and at 1-0, you still want to be in the game with 15 minutes to go, which we were. But we were punished by a side that are very good on the counter.”
With Fleet still in the game heading into the closing stages, though against a vastly improved Coasters side after the break, the manner of the second goal naturally proved frustrating for Hill and his staff.
“We were just starting to make a change or two, preparing to take a gamble and you can’t legislate for the ball coming in the box and Chris Bush has made the mistake. It’s fallen in front of the boy [Danny Rowe] and he’s put it into an empty net. That’s how it goes. We’ve had a good run, I’m a little bit disappointed with the final scoreline – over the last 15, 20 minutes, they deservedly went on and won the game. But that’s where you are in this league, you’ve got to take your chances when you’re on top. But there were a lot of positives and we’ve got to turn round and prepare for the Boxing Day game against Braintree.”
Having seen his side’s unbeaten league run end, and a rare two goals conceded, Hill was mindful about sustaining his side’s quality levels across 90 minutes.
“Being fair to them, they got a lot more of the ball in the second half,” he said. “We dominated in the first half but it wasn’t to be and you’re going to have that in a game if you can’t sustain that in 90 minutes. Again, I’ve got no problem with the commitment and the attitude and the football we played today. But as I say, we’ve made it hard work for ourselves when you look at the two goals today. We’ve conceded only one in six, we’ll be disappointed with the two today.
“We didn’t work the keeper enough, second half. We had a couple of opportunities where we got the other side of him, Danny Kedwell had a lovely flick-on and Andy Drury just couldn’t get the control on it and it’s run into the keeper’s hands. We weren’t as effective in the second half as we were in the first. The longer the game went on, it became tougher and tougher for us.”