AFC Fylde 0-0 Harrogate Town
The Coasters toiled in a Bank Holiday Monday stalemate with Harrogate Town, on an afternoon where the two sides had to settle for a draw.
The Coasters were close to forcing an opening goal when a corner routine saw Mark Yeates’ cross to edge of the area land at Danny Rowe’s feet, but his half volley unmarked hit a wall of bodies, before Montrose blazed over.
The close fought encounter nearly swung Harrogate’s way shortly after, when on twenty minutes former Coasters forward Jack Muldoon found space in the box, striking the post with his low effort.
This didn’t derail the more comfortable looking Fylde side however, and just before the half hour mark, Craigen’s disguised ball found Kosylo in the box, who looked up to see Danny Rowe lurking.
Rowe couldn’t get an effort away on his left foot, but his effort blocked fortuitously to Kosylo just five yards from goal – but was quickly stopped by an onrushing Belshaw, denying him from point-bank range.
Despite not being able to find their way ahead before the interval, the Coasters would no doubt have been encouraged with the space they created, Craig in particular finding himself in great positions on multiple occasions.
Jameson, making his full debut in place of Alex Whitmore, went close to opening his account for Fylde, after improvising a back header from Duxbury’s cross, which dropped just past the post.
After the restart, it was the visitors who came out with the higher of intensity initially, with Alex Bradley driving on from midfield to force Montgomery into a great double handed stop.
Duxbury’s in swinging delivery caused issues with Byrne and Montrose lurking, before the full-back’s next cross found Croasdale unmarked – but he headed wide from inside the penalty area.
Fylde had chances from set-pieces, with Rowe striking into the wall from 30 yards, before a Mark Yeates corner had to be dealt with by an assured Belshaw, palming it out confidently from under his bar.
Recent signing Elton Ngwatala, known for his spells at Kidderminster and Dundee United, came on for Nick Haughton, occupying a berth in the middle of the park.
With time ticking on, it seemed to all of Mill Farm that Harrogate had done enough to open the scoring after experienced striker John Stead had got the better of Kyle Jameson.
Jameson had taken time on the ball and allowed himself to be dispossessed, offering Stead the chance to advance unopposed and slotted past Montgomery one on one.
However, after Harrogate celebrations had died down and it seemed to be the away side leading, the referee run over to consult his linesman, before disallowing the goal for a handball by Stead.
Town kept their tails up, and shortly after, were denied once again by the Woodwork, as Burrell’s acrobatic overhead kick hit the bar, bouncing clear.
Rowe’s free-kick moments later had Belshaw scrambling back across his line, but the free-kick was always veering wide of the post.
Harrogate were on the attack however, and ramped the pressure up with corner after corner, asking plenty of questions.
Jack Muldoon will have thought he had done enough to win it, and after latching onto a ball into the box, but his low effort which was winding in was stopped excellently by Montgomery.
One final attack saw Connor Hall head wide from Brendan Kiernan’s corner, and with that came the whistle, ensuring the Coasters had withstand the pressure to record a much needed point.
AFC Fylde: Montgomery, Duxbury, Byrne, Jameson, Craigen, Montrose, Croasdale, Yeates (Williams 68’), Kosylo (Willoughby 80’), Haughton (Ngwatala 69’), Rowe.
Subs: Whitmore, Williams, Willoughby, Ngwatala, Lavercombe.
Harrogate: Belshaw, Fallowfield, Burrell, Falkingham (C), Smith, Hall, Bradley (Brown 80’), Emmet,. Beck (Stead 62’), Muldoon, Kiernan.
Subs unused: Leesley, Cracknelll, Smith.