AFC Fylde continued their unbeaten run to start of season with an evenly matched goalless draw at Sutton United.
Some heroic goalkeeping and resolute defending ensured that neither team were able to get to take maximum points. Dave Challinor made just 1 change to the side that had won its 2 previous games with debutant Jim Kellermann replacing Philliskirk in centre of park.
The first chance of the game came after 4 minutes when James Hardy was bought down just outside the box. Rowes resulting free-kick struck the wall from 20 yards out. With neither team able to sustain any pressure Suttons first chance came in the 10th minute when a high ball from a free kick on the half way line was met at the far post by Sutton forward Wishart but a smart save at his far post by Lynch kept the game scoreless.
The Coasters playing some neat football in the middle of the park, with Cardle, Bond and Hardy combining with some nice one touch passing, but The Coasters were unable to find a way past a resolute Sutton defence. Not to be out done Fylde’s back-line was equally resolute in defending some high balls into the Fylde area, with every ball met by a Coasters head.
James Hardy was looking dangerous in midfield as Fylde continued to probe however in the 24thminute the chance of the game fell to Sutton forward Cadogan who from 6 yards out managed to miss the target after some tidy wing play from Davis.
As the half wore on Fylde began to gain the upper hand in midfield when in the 38th minute a smart through ball by Rowe seemed to have put Cardle in on goal but for the out-rushing Sutton keeper Butler to make a smart diving save at Cardles feet.
With both teams trading blows in the final minutes of the first half a brilliant save by Lynch from Cadogan kept the score at 0-0 as Cadogan attempted to find the top corner from the edge of the box, then in stoppage time at end of the half Sutton keeper Butler was not to be outdone as he pulled off an identical save as a Cardle goal bound effort was heading for the top corner.
The start of the second half saw The Coasters push for the all-important opening goal, but resolute defending by the home team kept chances at a minimum. On the hour mark a Hardy run found Cardle on the edge of the box and his goal bound effort was glanced wide by the on-rushing Sutton defence.
Then in 72nd minute a freekick on the edge of Fylde’s box found the ball in the back of the net, only for the linesman to rule out the effort for offside, a smart double save from point blank range by Lynch fell to feet of the Sutton player who promptly despatched the ball but the home teams celebration were short lived as the linesman flagged for offside.
With the game entering the final 15 minutes both teams made changes with Hemmings replacing Cardle, Toure coming on for debutant Kellermann and Birch replacing Burke at the back. Touré’s pace was causing problems for the tiring backline of Sutton when in the 86th he was denied a clear shot on goal by a superb last-minute tackle by Sutton captain Collins when it looked like he would be clean through.
As the game entered stoppage time a miraculous save by Coasters Number 1 Lynch ensured that the game ended goalless as a corner was met by the head of Suttons Captain Collins, with ball seemingly finding its way into the bottom corner somehow Lynch managed to claw the ball from almost behind him. This was the last meaningful action of the game and both teams will feel that a point was fair result for a game in which the defences came out on top.
Fylde remain unbeaten this season and climb to second in the table on goal difference ahead of Bank Holiday Mondays BT Sports live match against third place Harrogate Town.
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AFC FYLDE (4-3-3): Lynch, Burke (77),Kane, Byrne, Francis-Angol, Croasdale, Bond (C),Hardy ,Kellermann (73) ,Cardle (77),Rowe
SUBS: Griffiths, Hemmings(73),Birch (77),Toure (77), Tasdemir
Sutton United: Butler, Bennett, Clough, Collins (C) Borainwa, Davis, Lafayette Cadogan, Eastmond, Wishart, Taylor.
SUBS: Beckwith, Brown, Beatyman, Wright, Drinan
AFC Fyldes man of the match, as voted for the by the travelling support, was Danny Kane for his superb defensive masterclass.