AFC Fylde vs Salford City

National League North
vs
August 23, 2016
Score: 3 - 3

Match Report

AFC Fylde moved top of the National League North after a thrilling 3-3 draw against Salford City.

A record crowd piled into Mill Farm to see Steve Williams earn the Coasters a deserved point in second-half injury time after a frantic finale.

Dave Challinor was forced into two changes from the side that beat Alfreton at the weekend with Tony Thompson replacing Rhys Taylor in goal and the returning Sam Finley coming in for Brendon Daniels.

After a bright opening Fylde opened the scoring after just ten minutes, Bohan Dixon bursting down the left before centring the ball to Finley who took a touch before firing into the roof of the net.

Salford looked for a quick response when Matthew Warburton lined up in a dangerous position on the edge of the area but his low strike was well saved by Thompson down to his left.

Shortly before the half hour mark the visitors were level. Warburton slipped in James Poole 20 yards from goal and the striker coolly slotted past Thompson with the outside of his boot.

The match was lively affair in front of feisty crowd and James Hardy went close to restoring the host’s lead with a close range header that was clawed away by goalkeeper Jay Lynch.

Play raced straight down to the other end and this time Poole was the provided for Warburton but unlike the previous chance, Thompson was equal to his low effort.

The Coasters were given a let off when Poole broke down the right into acres of space before whipping in a teasing cross that no one could get on the end of.

Equally the Ammies breathed a sigh of relief five minutes before the break. The ever-dangerous Hardy was played clean through before appearing to be hacked down by the advancing goalkeeper but the officials were unmoved.

Hardy almost turned provider when he laid off Holmes to the right of the box and his rasping first-time drive was narrowly wide of the far post. Dixon was just off target with a header at the back post as the referee blew for half-time.

Goalscorer Finley had the first attempt of the second period when he looped a shot from distance into the arms of Lynch and Salford’s Billy Priestley rose for a header in an end to end restart but he was well over Thompson’s crossbar.  

Salford completed the turnaround on the hour-mark when Sam Walker delivered a deep free-kick into the box and towering defender Michael Nottingham powered home a header, wiping out the goalkeeper in the process.

Dixon could have levelled instantly for the Coasters when he got a shot away from 15 yards but Lynch pulled off the save of the match down low to his right to keep out the strike.

The equaliser duly arrived on 67 minutes in emphatic fashion. Danny Rowe, who scored four last time out at Alfreton, picked up the ball 25 yards out, beat his man and the helpless goalkeeper could only watch on as the ball flew into the top corner.

Nottingham took aim with a goal of the season contender of his own however his effort from fully 35 yards bounced a foot wide of the left hand post.

The Coasters were the width of the post from taking the lead with just over ten minutes to go when Rowe hit a sublime free-kick up and over the wall but it agonisingly crashed again the post and Caspar Hughes couldn’t turn home the rebound.

There was still time for another twist when visiting striker Phenix shrugged off Josh Langley and curled home a beautiful strike into the top right hand corner.

However, it was Fylde who had the last laugh deep into stoppage time when Andy Bond whipped in an inviting cross to the back post and there was Steve Williams to head home into the bottom corner to send the home fans wild.  

AFC Fylde: Thompson, Holmes, Langley, Williams, Kennedy, C. Hughes (Blinkhorn 88), Bond, Finley, Hardy (Baker 90), Dixon (M. Hughes 65), Rowe.

Subs not used: Wilczynski, Collins.

Salford City: Lynch, Nottingham, O’Halloran, Burton, Grand, Priestley, Warburton (Johnston 46), Walker, Phenix (Clarke 88), Poole (King 76), Hulme.

Ref: Simeon Lucas

Att: 1,832