BOSTON UNITED 0 AFC FYLDE 3: Coasters are champions after Jakemans Stadium victory

Ross Durrant.
Ross Durrant.

AFC Fylde are the National League North champions following their 3-0 victory over Boston United.

Danny Rowe’s double and a finish from Matty Hughes secured top spot for the Coasters, at the expense of rivals Kidderminster Harriers.

But for Boston this was the third time in seven years they have been the other side on the pitch as the champions were crowned.

Add in three play-off semi-final defeats in that time and the Pilgrims and their supporters must be pig-sick of watching others having the last laught.

Without doubt, this was a far better performance from Boston than the last meeting between the two, when Fylde secured a shuddering 9-2 victory at Mill Farm.

But it is now five straight defeats for United at the expense of Fylde, conceding 23 times in those games.

Perhaps nobody will be as pleased to see the Coasters move on as Boston.

Lewis Hilliard and Nat Brown - along with Jay Rollins the only three Pilgrims to start both games against Fylde this season - returned to the Boston starting XI at the expense of Harry Vince and Josh Robinson.

The Coasters, knowing victory would ensure the title, began with Rowe curling a free kick wide.

Hilliard brought out a routine save from Rhys Taylor before Ross Durrant made sure another speculative Rowe effort met the same fate.

As Boston’s defence held firm and the nerves crept into the away side’s performance, the half threatened little by way of memorable action.

That was until the 41st minute when Rowe put the Coasters in front, forcing his spot kick beyond the dive of Durrant after Kalern Thomas had tripped Brendon Daniels.

Daniels came within a whisker of doubling the lead following the re-start, wrong-footing Durrant but dragging his strike wide.

But Rowe put one hand on the trophy with his second of the day in the 61st minute, breaking clear and slotting tellingly beyond Durrant.

Boston sub Liam Adams tried his luck from distance, but Taylor comfortably saved.

And the title was all-but assured in the 74th minuyte as Hughes found the net, sweeping home Matt Blinkhorn’s cross.

Jay Rollins came close to nabbing a consolation, but he headed over from close range after meeting the lively Adams’ cross.

BUFC: Durrant, Thomas, Batchelor, Brown, Yeomans, Hilliard (Hawley 68), Chapman, Broadhead, Briscoe (Adams 67), Dieseruvwe (Bishop 79), Rollins; Subs (not used): Vince, Gatter.

FYLDE: Taylor, C. Hughes (Baker 81), T. Kennedy, Langley, Collins, Bond, Blinkhorn, Morgan, Rowe, Bradley (Dixon 31), Daniels (M. Hughes 59); Subs (not used): K. Kennedy, Thompson.

Ref: Declan Bourne.

Att: 1,255 (128).