AFC Fylde and Guiseley played out a goalless draw at Kellamergh Park, but the football on show was much better than the scoreline indicated.
Before the game started there was a minutes silence to mark the 70th anniversary of the Freckleton Air Disaster which claimed the lives of 61 people including 38 children. Both sets of fans observed the silence impeccably.
Both sides started cautiously and not many chances were created in the first half. Michael Potts had the first good chance of the game forcing Guiseley keeper Steven Drench to tip the ball over the bar with a shot from the edge of the box.
Both sides had penalty claims with Guiseley claiming that Fylde defender Josh Langley had handled the ball following a collision with Oli Johnson. The referee decided that it was ball to hand and said no penalty. Midfielder Johnson was Guiseley’s main threat in the first half and his personal duel with Coasters left back Adam Sumner was an interesting battle.
A few minutes later Fylde had a penalty claim of their own when midfielder Liam Tomsett appeared to be pulled down in the middle of the penalty area following an indirect free kick from Michael Potts. Fylde had the best chance of the first half when Michael Barnes beat his marker on the left hand side of midfield and found himself 8 yards from goal. Instead of going for goal himself Barnes teed up Ritchie Allen in the centre of the 6 yard box but his shot was straight at Guiseley keeper Steve Drench.
Fylde keeper Ben Hinchcliffe made several errors with his kicking to his defence however his performance greatly improved in the second half. Guiseley didn’t create much going forward in the first half but they did have one good chance with Adam Boyes breaking through the Fylde defence but his shot from 12 yards was well saved by Coasters keeper Adam Hinchcliffe.
Both sides improved after the break and the game became a little more open. Ritchie Allen created problems for Guiseley with his quick change of feet and inswinging crosses, one of which nearly crept in the far corner of the Lions’ goal.
Fylde fullback Caspar Hughes had a terrific game and his surging runs through the Guiseley midfield caused the visiting side problems all afternoon. It was one of these runs which set up a good Fylde chance just after the restart, with Hughes finding Danny Rowe in the penalty area but the Fylde striker couldn’t convert his shot on the turn and it went to the left of Drench’s goal.
On the hour mark Michael Barnes forced a save from Drench with a stinging shot from 20 yards towards the left hand side of goal. A minute later, Barnes’ outswinging cross from the right wing found Danny Rowe who beat the keeper in the air but couldn’t direct his header on goal.
Fylde made a double substitution with 20 minutes to go with Danny Lloyd and Joe Booth replacing Danny Rowe and Liam Tomsett. As the game entered its final stages both sides started to look tired and looked to hit each other on the counter attack.
Adam Boyes had a chance to snatch it for Guiseley but his shot bobbled off the ground, taking all the power out of the shot and giving Hinchlcliffe a simple save. Two minutes were added for extra time but neither side made any headway during that time and the game ended goalless.
After the game, AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor had mixed feelings about the game. “We’re pleased to get a point, on another day it could have been three. The positive thing for us is that we’ve shown we can compete against in my opinion the best side in the league. The only disappointment for us is that we couldn’t stick one of our chances away.“
“It’s epitomised the start of our season really, apart from the Brackley game, we’ve had chances but we haven’t scored and that’s ultimately what has cost us certainly in the two previous games to this.”
On his side’s preparations for the game at Colwyn Bay on Monday, Challinor said “We’ll worry about ourselves, make sure our preparations are right and go there full of confidence. We know we are a good side and our points tally doesn’t replicate the football we have played.”
AFC Fylde travel to Colwyn Bay on Monday. Kick off is at 3pm.