FC Halifax Town vs AFC Fylde

National League
vs
September 2, 2017
Score: 2 - 1

Match Report

AFC Fylde suffered just their second defeat of the season at the hands of fellow National League new boys FC Halifax Town.

Danny Rowe gave the Coasters the lead shortly after the break with a sublime finish, however old foe Tom Denton bagged twice to complete the comeback.

Late substitute Matt Blinkhorn was dismissed in injury time as Fylde slipped to 17th in the table. 

Manager Dave Challinor made two changes from the side that beat Barrow on Monday evening with new boy Luke Burke and full-back Josh Ezewele replacing Henry Jones and the injured Zaine Francis-Angol.

It was the Wigan Athletic loanee that first threatened when he stormed forward and played a neat one-two with Sam Finley before overhitting his cross into the Halifax box.

Former Coaster Dion Charles was a whisker from giving the hosts the lead inside ten minutes when he knocked the ball past Jordan Tunnicliffe on the edge of the area before firing a low effort a foot wide of Rhys Taylor’s right-hand post.

Halifax frontman Denton was proving a usual handful up front but almost gave Fylde the advantage when he headed against his own bar from a Jack Muldoon’s long throw.

Both sides were looking lively in the Yorkshire sunshine and Taylor had to be alert to tip over Adam Morgan’s looping strike from distance. 

Rowe was presented with his first opportunity of the afternoon on 25 minutes when he cut inside his man and curled a shot agonisingly wide of the far post from 18 yards.

Town winger Charles was proving dangerous and fizzed another low strike wide of the post as both sides searched for the opener.

Record goalscorer Rowe was getting closer and was inches away from putting the visitors ahead with a vicious free-kick from 20 yards that drifted just wide.

The Coasters ended the half with a glorious chance to go ahead when Finley picked out Rowe on the right. The striker beat his man at the byline before leaving Scott Garner in his wake only to clip his eventual strike over the bar from close range. 

Fylde kicked off the second period with a real sense of purpose and took the game to their hosts. Hardy brilliantly turned his man in the box only to be thwarted by the legs of Sam Johnson. The young midfielder had another great chance a moment later when he lashed over from Finley’s cut-back.

The opportunities kept on coming for Hardy and he really should have scored when he latched onto a pinpoint pass from Rowe, however his strike was tame and straight into the grateful hands of Johnson.

Just over ten minutes into the second half, Rowe finally got the goal that Fylde’s play deserved. Simon Grand picked out Rowe in the centre and the forward delicately chipped the ball over the stranded goalkeeper.

However, the celebrations were cut short as Halifax responded immediately. A long range strike from Josh MacDonald was tipped onto the bar by Taylor but there was Denton to nod home the loose ball from point-blank range.

The second half was becoming a lively affair and Muldoon was very close to regaining Fylde’s lead with a curling strike that arrowed just over the bar.

Denton added to his goalscoring exploits against the Coasters with just over ten minutes to play, turning the game on its head. Some neat interplay saw MacDonald find the towering frontman inside the area and he stroked the ball home leaving Taylor with no chance.

Fylde almost found the equaliser in the closing stages when Burke whipped in a delightful cross from the left that was turned onto the post by Muldoon. 

Things got worse for the visitors in added time when Matt Blinkhorn – who had only come on as a substitute seconds earlier – was shown a red card for an alleged stamp on Scott McManus.

Halifax: Johnson, Wilde, Brown, Garner, Hotte (Lynch 46), Oliver, McManus, MacDonald (Clarke 80), Morgan (Tomlinson 74), Charles, Denton.

Subs not used: Nicholson, Dixon.

AFC Fylde: Taylor, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Ezewele (Richards 69), Montrose, Bond (Blinkhorn 88), Finley, Muldoon, Hardy (Smith 75), Rowe.

Subs not used: Lynch, Jones.

Att: 1,775

Ref: Glen Hart