AFC Fylde 0 – 0 Barrow AFC Attendance: 2194 (466 away)
The Coasters played out a second draw against Barrow in a week, as a New Year’s Day stalemate was the order at Mill Farm.
In truth, the whole game was one of limited chances, with the Coasters lining up slightly more defensively, with Jordan Tunnicliffe taking Andy Bond’s place.
Both sides had to work hard to create space, which was at a premium in a physical game.
One player that often makes chances out of nothing is Nick Haughton, who once again bobbed and weaved his way throughout the game, combining with Danny Rowe and Arthur Gnahoua.
He came closest to finding the net when Gnahoua’s cross bounced kindly for him, composing himself before sending a stinging half-volley goalwards deflecting behind for a corner, which was then easily dealt with.
Haughton was then at the heart of the Coasters next key chance, as his quick feet won The Coasters a free-kick after a tangle on the edge of the box.
Danny Rowe’s effort forced keeper Dixon into a smart save, denying a repeat of his goal at Harrogate Town.
The second half saw the Coasters start the dominant side, with Rowe executing an incisive turn and sending a shot sneaking into the near post, but Dixon was equal to it.
This encouraged a period of fluency, as Haughton, Gnahoua and Rowe linked up yet again, with Haughton’s eventual effort well blocked.
The next chance was arguably the best moment of quality in the game, coming from wide man Arthur Gnahoua.
He cut in from the wing, shimmying past two players, before unleashing a ferocious effort bound for the top corner, however Dixon stopped superbly once more.
Jason Taylor saw himself booked for his tug back on Nick Haughton, which prompted Ian Evatt into his first change, as Jack Hindle was then replaced by Josh Kay.
Kay was instantly involved, holding up a long ball for Norrington Davies, who himself found John Rooney, but his first-time effort is into the side netting and not bothering Lynch.
Tom Brewitt did stepping up from defence does well, and picks out Haughton, who shifts it onto Croasdale who is intercepted – with the tackle almost trickling past Dixon.
The visitors had their chance to steal all three points, as a long throw was headed by Neill Byrne and into the back of Jameson. Jay Lynch had to be at his nimble best to scramble across and push it to safety, saving his team a point once more against the Bluebirds.
Barrow to their credit neutralised Rowe’s threat effectively, forcing him wide or back into his half on occasion.
This hard work was almost undone though, when Jason Taylor’s sloppy back pass found Rowe. Twist and turn though he might, he couldn’t work a shooting opportunity, and the chance eventually fizzled out after good work from Granite.
“We lacked quality in the final third, but the type of game it was meant neither team could get the breakthrough,” said Fylde Manager Dave Challinor.
“We changed our shape as a result of last week’s game. It took us 15 minutes to get into things, but after that we edged it, but overall just couldn’t get that elusive chance.”
“They play their system well, and it was always going to be different – the main disappointment came from our set pieces where I think we were poor, where we could have created more chances.”
“The pleasing thing was that we didn’t concede, so we look forward to Bromley and hope we can get three points.
Lynch, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Byrne, Brewitt, Burke, Philliskirk, Croasdale, Haughton, Rowe, Gnahoua.
Subs: Bond, Hemmings, Birch, Tasdemir, Williams.
Dixon, Jones, Taylor, Granite, Rooney, Blyth, Jameson, Hindle, Barthram, Agustien, Norrington-Davies.
Subs: Burgess, Kay, Molyneux, Brown, Jennings.