Guiseley vs AFC Fylde

National League
vs
February 20, 2018
Score: 1 - 0

Match Report

AFC Fylde suffered a second defeat in the space of four days as they fell 1-0 to rock-bottom Guiseley. 

Rowan Liburd’s 86th-minute tap-in gave the home side a valuable three points in their desperate attempt for survival, however dealt a blow to the Coasters’ promotion hopes as Dave Challinor’s side slipped down to ninth in the National League table.

Challinor made three changes to the side that suffered a rare home defeat at the weekend with James Hardy – making his first start since early October – Jonny Smith and Sam Stubbs replacing Andy Bond, Henry Jones and Jack Muldoon. 

Guiseley forward Will Hatfield, still not forgiven by Fylde supporters for his four goals in a 4-1 FA Cup defeat against Accrington Stanley in 2012, was first to test Jay Lynch when he fired a stinging drive straight at the Coasters stopper.

A trademark chop from danger man Danny Rowe allowed the league’s top scorer a shooting opportunity, however his left-footed strike from 20 yards was easily claimed by Luke Coddington.

Smith’s cross into the box shortly before the mid-point of the half looked harmless enough, however Coddington made a hash of his catch, dropping at the feet of Ash Palmer and Rowe, although, fortunately for the blushing goalkeeper, it was the former that reacted first to clear. 

Keen to impress on his return, Hardy twisted and turned in the Guiseley area however his finish left much to be desired as it cleared the stand housing the sodden travelling Fylde support. 

Striker Dayle Southwell, signed from Wycombe Wanderers towards the end of last year, was urged to shoot as the Lions hunted for scraps and was a whisker away from finding the bottom corner with a low drive.

Whilst very much controlling the play, clear cut chances were at a premium for the visitors. Smith burst down the left after swapping flanks with Hardy however his final ball was lacking and drifted out for a goal kick.

The Coasters let out a huge sigh of relief moments later when a sensational off-the-line clearance from Simon Grand prevented caretaker manager Sean St Ledger from making the ultimate impact with an effort from 10 yards that was curling toward the far corner. 

The visitors’ pressure was starting to build after a forgettable first half as Smith flashed one through a crowd of players and narrowly wide of the far post.

And it was the on-loan winger that really should have broken the deadlock. Smith latched on to an incisive long ball through from Stubbs but rather than poke the ball past the goalkeeper, he took a touch allowing Coddington to make a crucial block.

Southwell launched a powerful effort in retaliation that arrowed a foot high and wide of the woodwork. 

The frontman, caught in an unfortunate area by a rather too friendly Jack Muldoon moments earlier, almost found away through, however Lynch was first to Hatfield’s lofted ball forward.

Rowe forced a decent save from Coddington down at the other end with a deflected strike that was drifting towards thew bottom corner.

Tunnicliffe too was agonisingly close with a looping header that dropped a foot the wrong side of the post as the clock ticked down.

However the Coasters were made to pay for missed chances when Guiseley struck the killer blow. John Rooney’s dart down the right and pinpoint cross found Liburd closing in on goal and the frontman, anonymous for much of the evening, couldn’t miss.

Guiseley: Coddington, Palmer, Hatfield (Wesolowski 77), Rooney, Southwell, McFadzean (Roberts 73), St Ledger, Holden, Liburd, Harvey (Purver 77), Crookes.

Subs not used: Green, Odejayi.

AFC Fylde: Burke, Stubbs, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Francis-Angol, Montrose (Jones 88), Finley, Smith (Blinkhorn 75), Hardy (Muldoon 64), Rowe. 

Subs not used: Bond, Taylor. 

Ref: Matt Donohue

Att: 613