AFC Fylde were left to settle for a point but remain top of the league after a 1-1 draw against Chester FC in the National League North.
Connor Barrett put the Coasters ahead on the stroke of half-time after an even battle in the first 45 when he chopped inside on the edge of the area and curled left-footed past Harry Tyrer, off the bar and into the back of the net.
After a stoppage to the game due to a medical emergency, with the Coasters defending well and looking good on the attack, Kurt Willoughby was able to pop up after a long ball into the Coasters’ half and slot into an empty net.
Adam Murray made one change to the side that secured a win over Scarborough Athletic to send them to the top of the National League North, with Danny Whitehead replacing Luke Charman.
The Coasters made a bright start to the half when Danny Whitehead burst down the line and skidded a low ball into the area, where Luke Conlan arrived late but shot wide from 12 yards out, before Connor Barrett drilled an effort wide of the mark from the edge of the area.
Chester’s first opportunity of the afternoon came through captain Declan Weeks when he cut inside past Curtis Weston and aimed a curling shot towards the top corner, which in the end, went wide.
The best chance of the half fell the way of the Coasters after a clever backheel from Nick Haughton allowed Conlan to cross towards Mo Faal inside the six-yard box for a header, which he directed at the bottom corner of the net but into Tyrer’s gloves.
However, with the interval approaching and neither side able to be separated, Barrett charged down a loose ball, chopped onto his left foot and curled a peach of a strike off the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde 1-1 Chester FC
The game always seemed as though it had an edge to it and Chester had a few penalty claims that were waved away from referee John Mulligan, which sparked fury in the away end, leading to a medical emergency and the referee taking the players off the field and into the changing rooms.
After the game restarted, tensions remained high, and Chester managed to grab a goal back when Willoughby was allowed to pounce on a long ball upfield and slot into the net.
Following Chester’s equaliser, they went in search of a second full of confidence, and with several corners being pumped into the area, Matty Williams was allowed to turn and drive a strike at goal, but a flurry of Coasters shirts charged him down and blocked superbly.
Once the game seemed to have settled down a little, the Coasters won themselves a free-kick after Haughton was brought down on the edge of the area, and as he stepped up to the set piece and appeared to be nestling in, Tyrer scurried across his line to bat away well.
With the closing stages approaching at Mill Farm, Haughton was allowed one last chance from a free-kick following a foul on Curtis Weston around 25 yards out.
Again, Tyrer did well to deal with another inch-perfect shot towards the top corner but parry onto the head of Mo Faal, who was off balance and couldn’t direct his header goalwards, leaving Murray’s men to settle for a good point.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde 1-1 Chester FC
AFC Fylde: Neal, Obi, Whitmore, Bird (69’ Walker); Barrett, Conlan, Philliskirk (87’ Ligendza), Weston; Whitehead (80’ Hatfield), Haughton; Faal.
Unused subs: Davis, Rowley.
Chester FC: Tyrer; Roberts (63’ Coates), Morgan, Brown, Williams, Burke (87’ Edwards); Weeks, Murray (76’ Stephenson), Hughes; Caton, Willoughby.
Unused Subs: Dudley, Thomas.