AFC Fylde & Ebbsfleet United had to settle for a share of the spoils after an entertaining game at Mill Farm ended in a 1-1 draw. 

Harry Davis struck 12 minutes after half-time to cancel out Dominic Poleon’s opener midway through the first half.

Ebbsfleet midfielder Ouss Cisse was sent off for an off-the-ball incident just past the hour mark as the Coasters had to settle for a point despite dominating the second 45.

Chris Beech made three changes from Saturday’s FA Cup victory over Leek Town, with Danny Philliskirk, Gold Omotayo and Kieran Glynn replaced by Danny Whitehead, Luke Charman and Josh Kay.

Fylde were enjoying early positive play, and that led to an opportunity inside the 18-yard box when Danny Whitehead’s corner was met by Jon Ustabasi, who headed over the crossbar from close range.

Charman then weaved beyond three red shirts to hit a dipping effort at goal from the edge of the box, which dropped narrowly wide of Cousins’ bottom left post before visiting goalkeeper Mark Cousins was called into action after 20 minutes to tip over Sam Graham’s looping header from Nick Haughton’s pinpoint cross into the box.

Cousins then denied the Coasters again soon after, thwarting Charman with a low sprawling save in the box following a well-worked Fylde move. 

Up the other end, Poleon went close after a run down the right, lifting over Theo Richardson and across goal from a tight angle, but the ball bounced wide. 

However, Poleon didn’t waste his second opening in front of goal, scoring for Ebbsfleet on 26 minutes after reacting first to a pullback from the right to drill right-footed beyond Richardson and into the bottom left corner.

Charman had an excellent chance to level when he beat Haydn Hollis to possession in the box – however, Cousins would again keep out the Coasters’ number nine.

Ebbsfleet skipper Hollis had to be alert late in the half and managed to head Ustabasi’s powerful shot at goal before Davis tried his luck for the Coasters, striking with the outside of his boot from Haughton’s cross and wide.

Haughton had Fylde’s final chance of the half came when surrounded by opposing Ebbsfleet players, he struck an effort from the left edge of the box that went wide of Cousins’ upright.

Half-Time: AFC Fylde 0-1 Ebbsfleet United

In the early minutes of the second half, Kay had two chances in quick succession. Firstly, the Coasters midfielder drove narrowly past the bottom left post before shooting straight at Cousins. 

The Coasters pushed to find an elusive equaliser – however, Kay’s volley from Charman’s knock-down was held by Cousins before the Fleet ‘keeper then saved from Ustabasi after profiting from Luke O’Neill’s slip to burst into the box.

Fylde were deservedly level on 56 minutes through Davis, who powered a header from Connor Barrett’s free-kick past Cousins.

On the hour, Poleon sent a rising header over Richardson’s crossbar as Dennis Kutrieb’s men aimed to restore their advantage before the game was turned on its head minutes later when Cisse was sent off following an off-the-ball incident.

Cousins superbly prevented Fylde from going in front after tipping wide Haughton’s volley and Charman’s header from the resulting corner.

Haughton went close with 15 minutes left when he hit a first-time whipped effort across goal, which curled just wide after build-up from Ustabasi and Max Conway.

Poleon then wasted a chance to put Ebbsfleet back in front in the final after dragging wide from Ben Chapman’s cross before Hollis’ header was superbly saved off the line by Richardson following a corner into a crowded box.

Both teams traded late chances, with Richardson saving Toby Edser’s low strike in the box and Sam Graham valiantly throwing himself in the way of Poleon’s goal-bound follow-up.

Despite throwing everything they had at Ebbsfleet in added time, Beech’s men could not find a winner and were held to a draw.

AFC Fylde: Richardson, Barrett, Davis, Graham, Conway, Kay (Omotayo 70), Khumbeni (O’Kane 82), Whitehead, Haughton, Ustabasi, Charman (Rowley 76)

Subs not used: Obi, Philliskirk

Ebbsfleet: Cousins, O’Neill, White, Hollis, Edser, Domi, Cisse, Clifford, McQueen (Fanimo 14) (Sterling-James, 70), Amoo (Chapman 57), Poleon

Subs not used: Solly, Odokonyero