AFC Fylde vs Dagenham & Redbridge

National League
Sat 19th August 2017
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

AFC Fylde were once again denied their first National League victory by a cruel late goal despite an excellent showing against Dagenham and Redbridge. 

The hosts took the lead early into the match when Henry Jones slotted home however Morgan Ferrier’s breakaway goal on the stroke of half-time levelled up proceedings.

Veteran centre-half Simon Grand though he had won it on his full debut in the dying stage before Sam Ling nodded in a 94th minute equaliser to make it five without a win for Dave Challinor’s side.

The Coasters boss made two changes from the side that suffered defeat against Maidenhead United on Tuesday evening with Grand in for the injured Josh Langley whilst James Hardy replaced Jonny Smith out wide.

The visitors’ physical presence was causing problems early on, but it was the Coasters that carved out the first opportunity of the afternoon when Jack Muldoon fire a quick shot from the edge of the area that goalkeeper Mark Cousins just reached. 

Rowe took aim with a trademark piledriver from 25 yards that again was well pounced upon by Cousins. It was all one-way traffic in the opening stages as Muldoon headed over from Sam Finley’s deep cross.

The deadlock was deservedly broken by the hosts in the 14th minute. Stand-in captain Andy Bond whipped in an inviting cross from the right that was flicked on by Danny Rowe and collected by Jones who took a touch before slotting home.

The Coasters were playing some fabulous football against their high-flying opponents and only a last-ditch interception prevented Zaine Francis-Angol’s low cross finding Rowe in the centre.

Dagenham had to wait until the 35th minute before creating their first real opening of game when Corey Whiteley crossed from the left but Ferrier’s downward header bounced straight into the hands of Rhys Taylor.

Daggers midfielder Matthew Robinson let fly with an ambitious strike from 25 yards that flew over the top as the half-time whistle approached.

Just as it looked as through the hosts would take their lead into the interval, Dagenham hit on the break. Finley’s cross field pass was intercepted and the visitors raced away before Ferrier applied the finishing touch with a composed effort past Taylor with the final kick of the half.

Fylde started the second half brightly continued to pepper the Dagenham goal as Finley’s left-footer from the edge of the box was deflected over the bar. Rowe had a great shooting chance moments later from a similar position but his strike was tame and comfortable for Cousins.

The Coasters had strong claims for a penalty when a corner to the back post found Grand and although the Fylde centre-half was wrestled to the ground by his opposite number Bondz N’Gala, the referee was unmoved.

Grand was caught out at the other end moments later when Michael Cheek skipped past his diving challenge into the area before twice being thwarted by Taylor. 

Despite the host’s dominance, Whitely almost caught out Taylor with a clever free-kick when everyone was expecting a cross.

Daggers frontman Ferrier had a glorious chance to turn the game on its head when he latched on to a ball over the top and crashed a thunderous strike against the crossbar after jinking past Tunnicliffe.

The Coasters were playing some of their best football of the season but for all the intricacy and neat touches, a golden opportunity was proving elusive. Jones had as good a chance as any when the ball dropped kindly at his feet, however his snapshot was deflected away.

That was all to change with four minutes to play when the Coasters grabbed their goal. Jonny Smith’s corner from the right found Grand at the back post and the defender poked the ball home to send Mill Farm into raptures.

However, there was to be one cruel final twist as the Coasters suffered last minute heartbreak once again. With just one minute of the additional five remaining, a looping cross into the area was nodded into the bottom corner by Sam Ling.


AFC Fylde: Taylor, Bond, Grand, Tunnicliffe, Francis-Angol, Montrose, Finley, Jones (Blinkhorn 84), Muldoon, Hardy (Smith 74), Rowe.

Subs not used: Lynch, Ezewele, Tasdemir.

Dagenham: Cousins, Pennell, Robson, Robinson, Ferrier, Okenabirhie (Howells 72), N’Gala (White 90), Bouchard, Ling, Cheek (Hawkins 68), Whitely. 

Subs not used: Justham, Lokko.

Att: 1,590

Ref: Marc Edwards