AFC Fylde vs Boreham Wood

National League
Sat 5th August 2017
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

AFC Fylde had to settle for a share of the spoils against Boreham Wood on their debut match in the National League.

The hosts got off to a dream start when defender Danny Woodards headed into his own goal, however Ricky Shakes levelled the scores on the stroke of half-time.

Boreham Wood completed the turnaround soon after the break through Kane Smith’s back-post header before Fylde new man Jonny Smith fired home a spectacular equaliser.

AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor named five debutants in his starting line-up, including a new-look backline.

The visitors dominated in the early exchanges but their final ball was lacking and they were almost made to pay on the 10 minute mark. Hitman Danny Rowe shrugged off his man on the right before dinking a delicate ball into to Andy Bond who was unfortunate to see his diving header saved by the stretching Grant Smith.

Boreham Wood threatened with their first strike on goal moments later however Kieran Murtagh dragged his left-footed attempt well wide of Rhys Taylor’s left hand post.

However, there was a historic moment to follow soon after as Fylde opened their National League account. Zaine Francis-Angol bombed down the left before whipping in a fierce cross that was expertly headed into his own goal by defender Danny Woodards.

The Coasters were growing into the game and could have had a second just 20 minutes in. Midfielder Sam Finley cut inside his man on the right, skipped past a second lunging challenge on the byline but could only find the side-netting with his eventual strike.

Full-back Kane Smith’s eyes lit up as a loose ball fell kindly to him on the edge of the Fylde penalty area and although his struck his low effort well, it fizzed narrowly wide of the far post.

The Boreham Wood right-back was causing real problems in the Coasters box and would have teed up Murtagh on the six yard line if not for a last-gasp interception from Jordan Tunnicliffe.    

A goal was coming for the visitors and it duly arrived on the stroke of half-time. Angelo Balanta delivered a deep cross from the right that was powered home at the back post by Shakes.

The second half kicked off in the same vein with little between the two sides – Rowe blasting a free-kick well over the bar as the Coasters looked to regain their advantage.

The frontman, who netted 50 goals last season, was agonisingly close to bagging his first of the new campaign ten minutes after the restart when he was picked out by Jack Muldoon however he flashed his close range strike just wide.

The miss proved costly as the visitors took the lead with the very next attack. Goalscorer Shakes turned provider with a cross to the far post and Smith’s downward header somehow found the bottom corner through a crowd of players.

Fylde hit back with a chance of their own shortly after the hour and centre-half Tunnicliffe was desperately unlucky to see his flicked header drift the wrong side of the post with his back to goal.

The Coasters sprang into life with 15 minutes to go and grabbed a deserved equaliser. Substitute Henry Jones nicked the ball away from his marker in the middle of the park and fed debutant Jonny Smith, signed on loan from Bristol City just 24 hours earlier, who fired an unstoppable left-footed strike into the far top corner.

Shakes tested Taylor during a cagey ending to the match but his low first time effort from 18 yards was straight down the throat of the goalkeeper.

Jones could have won it for the home side with a minute to play when he broke through but couldn’t get a clean shot away under pressure from Mark Ricketts, claims for a penalty ignored by referee Joe Hull.

Fylde went closer still in added time when Tunnicliffe was felled 20 yards from goal – perfect territory for Rowe and the frontman almost had the headlines when he smashed the ball through the wall only to see it superbly kept out by Smith.


AFC Fylde: Taylor, Ezewele (Smith 64), Tunnicliffe, Langley, Francis-Angol, Montrose, Bond, Finley, Hardy (Jones 64), Muldoon, Rowe.

Subs not used: Lynch, Grand, Blinkhorn.

Boreham Wood: G. Smith, K. Smith, Woodards (Andrade 72), Ricketts, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Benson, Murtagh, Turley, Balanta.

Subs not used: Johnson, Jeffers, Sach, Keita.

Ref: Joe Hull

Att: 1,641