Harrogate Town vs AFC Fylde

National League North
vs
April 18, 2015
Score: 1 - 4

Match Report

The title race will go all the way to the last game of the season after a fantastic come-back victory over Harrogate Town this afternoon.

James Walshaw scored a 17th minute free kick for the home side but a two goals in first half stoppage time gave The Coasters a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Danny Rowe and Danny Lloyd.

Rowe then completed his hat-trick in the first ten minutes of the second half scoring a penalty with his second and a great goal for this third to give Fylde an unassailable 4-1 lead.

It was a quiet start from both sides but the first attempt on goal fell to the visitors with Lloyd forcing a good save from Peter Crook to tip it over the bar on seven minutes.  Seven minutes later Josh Wilson came close but his header dipped over the bar.

Disaster struck for Fylde on 17 minutes when Harrogate won a free kick on the edge of the box which Walshaw curled around the post and into the corner of the net to give his side a shock lead.

The Coasters rallied after that as Rowe’s cross was just missed by Richie Baker on the edge of the six yard box before Richie Allen calved himself a decent shot on the turn which Crook had to be at full stretch to turn it over the bar.

With half an hour gone Walshaw managed to beat Ben Hinchliffe to a high ball toward the six yard box but Hinchliffe did enough to put him off and win a goal kick.

Soon after Fylde broke and Lloyd saw two decent chances go awry – his first was well saved by Crook before Leigh Franks slid in to block his second strike.

Crook had to be at full stretch again on 38 minutes as he denied Baker a superb goal volleying Allen’s knock down towards the top corner but Crook got a hand on it to tip it over his bar.

A couple of half chances fell for Fylde as the first half drew to a close but as the half went into the four minutes of stoppage time, the visitors struck with a well-taken header from Rowe from Allen’s cross and then Lloyd was first to a rebound from Cook’s spill to give Fylde a deserved lead.

The Coasters needed to come out and close the game out and within six minutes of the restart they got their third goal when Tom Hannigan was pushed to the ground near the byline and referee Paul Brown awarded a penalty which Rowe duly stepped up to hammer home.

Five minutes later Rowe made it 4-1 by completing his first hat-trick for the club with a well-worked goal squirming his way through a number of defenders to fire in past Crook and claim the match ball.

The game was all but won from that point on but Walshaw turned a Harrogate corner wide just after the hour.  Josh Wilson saw a strike go narrowly wide looking for Fylde fifth before Walshaw saw another low shot gathered comfortably by Hinchliife.

Fylde substitute Matt Blinkhorn tried his luck with a curling strike at goal which Crook saved with 15 minutes remaining and five minutes later, Sumner’s free kick was headed into the mixer only for Crook to come and pluck out of the air.

Barrow’s 4-1 win at home to Tamworth keeps them top of the table by two points and they face a trip to Lowestoft next weekend for their final game whilst Fylde entertain Gloucester City.

Harrogate Town: Crook, Bloomer, Turner, Franks (Sheils 59), McGurk (C), Nyoni, Emmett (Worrall 73), Fallowfield, Clayton (Nowakowski 59), Thewlis, Walshaw; Subs not used: Doran, Cadman.

GOAL: James Walshaw (17)

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hughes, Sumner, Langley, Hannigan (Denson 85), B. Barnes (C), Baker (Booth 87), Wilson, Rowe, Lloyd, Allen (Blinkhorn 48); Subs not used: Tomsett, Charles.

GOAL: Danny Rowe (45+1, 51pen, 55), Danny Lloyd (45+3)

YELLOW: Richie Baker (9)

HT: 1-2

ATT: 704

MOM: Danny Rowe

REFEREE: Paul Brown

STATS (AFCF First):

Shots On – 9/5

Shots Off – 3/3

Corners – 8/2

Offsides – 1/3

Fouls Won – 12/8

Yellows – 1/0

Reds – 0/0