Daryl McMahon hailed the quality of AFC Fylde matchwinner Danny Rowe as the difference between the sides, the 28-year-old’s second-half brace sinking the Fleet before a late revival threatened the visitors’ foothold in the match.
“Danny Rowe is the best goalscorer in the division and we’ve been beaten by him today, two fantastic goals,” McMahon told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “We switched off for both goals and probably the counterattack at the end – that was probably harsh for 3-1 when we were on the go to try and get another one but disappointing.”
Rowe’s first goal appeared to be a fortunate cross, much like Jack Connors’ goal at Torquay last season, but McMahon said the striker may well have meant it.
“I don’t know, you’d have to ask him to be honest. I wouldn’t be surprised if he shot, he shoots every time he gets it, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he did mean it. I think he is that good for this level, he’s a special player at this level.”
Rowe’s second followed quickly on the heels of the first, from a direct free-kick, and McMahon felt that was somewhat harsh on his side: “At the time did we deserve to be 2-0 down? Probably not,” he said. “That was the moment of quality that [Rowe] produced. We said at half-time if you switch off once, he scores. We switched off twice and he scored two. Not for the three goals, but in the actual game we’ve defended really well as a team but they’ve not had another shot. So they’ve had three shots on targets and Ashmore’s not made a save and to lose 3-1 at home is disappointing. They’ve had three shots on target and scored three goals. We’ve had another load of chances and only scored one.”
For all his disappointment, however, McMahon was adamant once more that his side just need to find more of a killer instinct.
“We’ve got to keep creating chances and keep believing,” he said. “I thought there was a spell at 2-0 for 10 minutes where we looked like we didn’t believe until we scored. Then we had a bit of life in us again and I thought we had a couple of bits in and around their box and we looked bright and dangerous then. It’s one of them, it’s difficult to take right now but we go Tuesday night. We’ve got to do better, people have got to do their jobs better defensively for the third and first goal.”
Corey Whitely’s fantastic strike for his fourth goal of the season, his third as a subsitute, was the highlight for home fans. “That’s three off the bench for him,” said McMahon. “It’s a great finish, a great strike and we need our players like him, like Coulson, like Weston, Shields, Powell, Daz and Keds, to produce moments of magic because they can and they’ve got to do it more consistently.”
And man of the match Myles Weston was also praised by his manager. “Westy was probably adjusting to non-league level last year, you probably didn’t see the best of him last season. He’s a fantastic lad as well and his work ethic’s really good, professional as you like. He was good again today.”
Fleet fell to ninth position as they were one of only two sides in the top nine not to win but McMahon thinks the first month, given some of the tough fixtures his side have played, has seen a decent return of points.
“We’ve had a tough start,” he said. “We’ve played three sides from the play-offs last year, four relegated [League] sides over the past two seasons and Eastleigh away who are always a decent outfit. We’ve had a tough, tough start in the first eight games. Not that any game’s easy in this league but when you look at it on paper, it is tough. If we win today, we’d have two points a match from eight games which is a great start so I’m not too down on the start, it’s very early.”
Listen to the interview below.