AFC Fylde reached the first round proper of the FA Cup for a third time in four years after a tightly-contested 1-0 victory over rivals Barrow AFC.

Dion Charles scored the only goal of the game shortly before the hour mark to heap misery on the visitors, who had previously seen Dan Pilkington dismissed for a reckless challenge on Matty Hughes.

Ashley Grimes had the best chance for the visitors, but goalkeeper Matt Urwin was equal to his fine effort.

Fylde boss Dave Challinor made three changes to the team that beat Corby Town last weekend. Urwin returned in goal in place of Ben Hinchliffe, Josh Wilson replaced Akil Wright after his loan spell with the club expired, whilst Danny Rowe came in for Danny Lloyd.

Both teams struggled to get their game going in appalling conditions at Kellamergh Park in the early stages.

Neither side fashioned a chance in the first 15 minutes, only a good challenge from Alex Whittle stopping Barrow frontman Andy Cook getting his shot away.

Barrow had the first real chance of the afternoon on 24 minutes when Cook was brought down on the edge of the Coasters’ area, but he fired the resultant free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.

The hosts had a similar opportunity five minutes later when Rowe was impeded at the opposite end, but his powerful low effort was blocked by the Barrow wall and cleared to safety.

Fylde winger Charles found space in the 39th minute, however his ambitious strike from 25 yards was well over the bar.

The wideman had another effort moments later and was a lot closer second time around, curling a shot just over the woodwork.  

The game sprang to life three minutes after the break when Barrow midfielder Dan Pilkington was shown a straight red card for a two-footed lunge on Matty Hughes.

Ex-Blackburn Rovers winger Andy Haworth had a good chance for the visitors five minutes later, but his weak effort was easily claimed by his former teammate Urwin.

Striker Cook went closer still with a towering header that flew narrowly wide of Urwin’s left-hand post on 54 minutes as the 10 men of Barrow continued to press.

The deadlock was finally broken a minute before the hour mark when Fylde man Charles stole into the area and fired past Joel Dixon with the aid of a slight deflection from a tight angle.

The hosts began to control the game and full-back Alex Whittle was close with a curling free-kick on 73 minutes after Charles had been felled 20 yards from goal.

Barrow had their best chance to level on 77 minutes when Grimes latched on to a knock-down 12 yards out, but Urwin pulled off a sensational save, clawing the ball out of the top right-hand corner.

The introduction of winger Danny Lloyd livened up proceedings and he danced past three challenges five minutes from time before firing straight at Dixon in the Barrow goal, who claimed at the second attempt.

Matt Blinkhorn and Rowe both had chances to seal the result, but a resolute Fylde side saw out the game and will be in the hat for Monday’s first round draw.

AFC Fylde: Urwin, C. Hughes, Hannigan, Collins, Whittle, Charles (Lloyd 79), Richie, Wilson, Rowe, M. Hughes, Blinkhorn.

Subs: Hinchliffe, Sumner, Barnes, Mullen, Hardy, Sloane.

Barrow AFC: Dixon, Symington, Ashton, Livesey, Williams, Cowperthwaite, Mellor, Haworth (Newby 75), Cook (Van Den Broek 68), Wilson (Grimes 32), Pilkington.

Subs: Taylor, Grand, Fofana, Harvey.