Barrow vs AFC Fylde

National League
Tue 3rd April 2018
Score: 1 - 3

Match Report

AFC Fylde gatecrashed the National League play-off party with a gritty victory at struggling Barrow.

Winger Jonny Smith put the Coasters in the driving seat in the opening period, only for Nathan Waterston to level before the break. 

However, it would be old boy Danny Rowe that would come back to haunt his previous employers with a well-taken strike midway through the second period.

Substitute Serhat Tasdemir put the icing on the cake with the final kick of the game to lift Dave Challinor’s promotion-hopefuls into seventh place.

Manager Dave Challinor welcomed back Sam Finley to the starting line-up after the midfielder served the final game of a three match suspension over the Easter Weekend. 

Left-back Zaine Francis-Angol dropped out of the side after picking up a knock in the 2-0 victory over FC Halifax Town.

The playing surface was in surprisingly good condition considering the original fixture had been postponed just 24 hours earlier with both side lively from the off.

Former Bluebirds striker Danny Rowe took aim with a trademark thunderbolt early on that looped just over the bar with the aid of a slight deflection, whilst defender Simon Grand went closer still from the resultant corner, nodding just wide at the far post.

Barrow midfielder Kingsley James headed an ambitious attempt onto the roof of the Fylde goal straight up at the other end as the match started to take shape. 

Ex-Premier League forward Grant Holt should have put the hosts ahead midway through the half. Luke James raced down to the byline and delivered a pinpoint cross to where the former Norwich City man was lurking, however he couldn’t get his feet sorted and the ball was cleared. 

Despite momentarily falling under the cosh from their relegation-threatened hosts, Fylde took the lead out of the blue. Moussa Diarra’s challenge in the Fylde area fired off in the direction of Smith on the halfway line and the winger did fantastically well to nick the ball past the last man, race the length of the half and stroke his effort beyond goalkeeper Steve Arnold.

However, the home side were back level less than five minutes later and it was another goal from nothing. A long throw into the box reached Waterston who flicked a header past Jay Lynch from close range. 

Barrow were looking the more likely as the half wore on and full-back Calum MacDonald wasn’t far away with a dipping free-kick across goal. 

Opening goalscorer Smith found himself racing through on goal once more, although this time Arnold stood firm and parried away his powerful left-footed strike from the angle.

HALF-TIME: Barrow 1-1 AFC Fylde

Former Coaster Dan Jones, on loan from Grimsby, carved the Fylde backline wide open shortly after the restart with a cute reverse ball into James and the dangerman was inches from finding his target in the centre with a teasing low cross. 

Again, perhaps against the run of play, the Coasters regained their lead. A long ball over the top from Grand was expertly brought down by Rowe on the 18-yard line and slotted past a helpless Arnold, much to the displeasure of the home support who had booed the striker’s every touch.

Rowe looked on course to grab his second just after the hour when he bullied Ollie Cook in a footrace and got goalside of the defender before being hauled down on the edge of the area. The referee opted for a free-kick rather than a penalty and the frontman crashed the set-piece a foot over the bar and halfway back to Lancashire. 

The hosts were cranking up the pressure and Lynch had to stand up to a fierce effort from  Lewis Walters, whilst Andy Bond was in the right place to clear a long throw that had made it all the way to the Fylde goalline. 

Fylde were still threatening with chances of their own and substitute Jason Taylor really should have put the result to bed when Serhat Tasdemir nicked the ball off Arnold by the corner flag and cut back to the towering midfielder who saw his effort deflected away.

Rowe could have sealed it late on when he bundled the ball through a stubborn Barrow rearguard, and despite twisting and turning his way through the bodies, a shooting opportunity didn’t arrive.

The three points were sealed with the last action of the evening when Tasdemir raced clear and added gloss to a fine second half display with a neat finish into the far corner.

FULL-TIME: Barrow 1-3 AFC Fylde


Barrow: Arnold, Makoma, MacDonald, Diarra, Cook, Waterston (White 74), Jones, K. James, Holt (Gomis 79), L. James, Walters (Panayiotou 89).
Subs not used: Bauress, Diagne.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Bond, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Burke, Montrose, Finley, Hardy (Taylor 73), Muldoon (Tasdemir 65), Smith (Lawlor 83), Rowe.
Subs not used: Jones, Blinkhorn.

Ref: Marc Edwards

Att: 901 (76 away)