AFC Fylde vs Wigan Athletic

FA Cup
vs
December 1, 2017
Score: 1 - 1

Match Report

Danny Rowe’s second half penalty secured AFC Fylde an FA Cup Second Round replay with League One Leaders Wigan Athletic after a 1-1 draw at Mill Farm.

Wigan took the lead just before half-time when Northern Ireland international Will Grigg headed in from close range.

Dave Challinor’s side grew in stature and confidence after the break and Rowe’s clinical penalty earned the Coasters a place in the hat for the Third Round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history.

Fylde made two changes from the weekend win at National League high flyers Dover. Josh Ezewele and Jordan Richards came in for Serhat Tasdemir and the ineligible Luke Burke.

The League One visitors went close to opening the scoring within five minutes. Gavin Massey exchanged a neat one-two with Grigg before flashing his time effort across the face of the Fylde goal and narrowly past the post.

After that close shave, Fylde started to get a foothold in the game and only an excellent block from a cluster of Wigan defenders denied Danny Rowe from getting a shot away from the edge of the box.

Wigan dominated possession in the early stages but created little until 24 minutes. Lee Evans’ floated cross to the far post was met by Grigg whose looping header beat Fylde goalkeeper Jay Lynch but not the bar as it bounced back off the upright.

Fylde continued to defend deep as Wigan resorted to long range efforts. Evans shot well wide from a free kick while Michaels Jacobs tried his luck from 30 yards only to find the same outcome.

Evans was involved yet again just before the break as Wigan’s best chance of the half fell to the midfielder. An out-swinging corner landed at the feet of the Wolves loanee but he smashed his close range half-volley over the Fylde bar.

On the stroke of half time, the Latics found the breakthrough. Nathan Byrne delivered a delicious in-swinging cross, finding Grigg who powered his close-range header past Lynch.

Fylde tried to respond immediately through top scorer Rowe. The Coasters’ Number Nine collected the ball on the edge of the box and cut onto his right foot but his low strike was comfortably collected by Jamie Jones in the Wigan goal.

After the interval it was the home side who started the brighter although Wigan had the first chance of note. Max Power rolled the ball square to Jacobs and his curling effort was well saved by the stretching Lynch.

Lynch had to be alert again before the hour mark as Chey Dunkley chested the ball down inside the penalty area but Lynch leapt on the loose ball.

Veteran striker Matt Blinkhorn was introduced from the bench shortly after the hour mark and almost made an immediate impact. Massey’s stray ball was picked up by Sam Finley who fired the ball into the box only for Blinkhorn to head narrowly wide.

Wigan were keen to cement a two-goal cushion and went extremely close to doing so on 67 minutes. The ball fell to Massey eight yards out but his low strike was sensationally smothered by Lynch before Richards completed the clearance at the feet of the advancing Jacobs.

That miss proved costly for the League One table-toppers as Fylde equalised less than four minutes later. Jonny Smith beat Dan Burn and drew a save from Jones before Finley was taken down by Byrne. Rowe stepped up and calmly slotted home his fifteen goal of the season and his fourth of Fylde’s FA Cup run so far.

Rocked by that equaliser, the visitors went forward looking to restore their advantage. Burn crossed to his fellow centre back Dunkley who met the ball at the far post but powered his header wide.

With less than five minutes to go, Byrne was involved again as Wigan went close to snatching the win. Jacobs beat Richards on the inside and fizzed the ball across to the onrushing Byrne who skied his close-range chance.

Wigan huffed and puffed in their search for a winner but Fylde held firm to secure a hard-earned replay at the DW Stadium. The draw for the Third Round of the FA Cup takes place on Monday 4th December.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Montrose, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Bond, Finley (J Taylor 90+3’), Rowe, Richards (Grand 89’), Smith, Ezewele (Blinkhorn 62’), Edmundson

Subs not used: R Taylor, McCready, Tasdemir, Jones.

Wigan Athletic: Jones, Byrne, Morsy, Dunkley, Burn, James, Evans, Massey (Powell 72’), Jacobs (Roberts 90’), Power, Grigg (Toney 89’)

Subs not used: Sarkic, Bruce, Elder, Perkins

Attendance: 3,351

Referee: Darren Drysdale