AFC Fylde vs Sutton United

National League
Sat 7th April 2018
Score: 2 - 1

Match Report

AFC Fylde picked off yet another promotion rival at Mill Farm to further strengthen their Play-Offs hopes with just four games to play.

Sutton’s Tommy Wright looked to have secured all three points for the visitors, however two goals inside three second-half minutes flipped the game on its head to make it three in a week for Fylde.

Manager Dave Challinor welcomed defender Zaine Francis-Angol back from injury, with Jack Muldoon dropping to the bench.

Sutton forward Tommy Wright gave the Coasters an early scare with a vicious half-volley from just inside the area, however Jay Lynch got a fingertip to the strike and nudged the ball over the bar.

After a sluggish start, the hosts came to life with a spell of sustained pressure with numerous corner and crosses whipped into the Sutton box but to no avail. 

However, their bright spell was brought to an abrupt halt as Sutton broke the deadlock. Wright raced forward leaving Simon Grand for dead before lashing a strike into the bottom right hand corner.

The game was becoming a real stop-start affair, with neither side able to get into any rhythm and the referee spending more time arguing with Sutton boss Paul Doswell than letting the game flow.

Even when it did get going, it just wouldn’t drop for the home side as Rowe crashed a free-kick, and the resultant rebound, into the Sutton wall.

Following a likely half-time grilling, the Coasters came out with a new lease of life, Sam Finley threading a delicious ball through to Luke Burke who in turn fizzed across goal just out of the reach of Rowe.

There was an notable improvement from the drab first-half showing, with the hosts knocking the ball around well but the final ball was still lacking. Andy Bond whipped one in that was neither cross nor shot as the pressure started to mount.

A equalising goal seemed to be on the cards and Finley was a whisker away when goalkeeper Jamie Bulter tipped his rasping drive around the post at full stretch.

Mercurial midfielder James Hardy found himself with space to shoot on the edge of the box however his tame effort was deflected away with ease.

Kieron Cadogan fashioned a rare chance for the visitors – almost their first since scoring – when his side-footed first time effort from 20 yards was well claimed by Lynch at the far post.

The deserved equaliser finally arrived with just 13 minutes remaining when Smith burst down the left and smashed a shot across goal that looped up off Simon Downer and over Butler into the far corner of the goal.

A dazzling three-minute spell saw the Coasters turn the game on its head. Downer got the ball caught under his feet and Rowe needed no second invitation to curl a strike into the far corner out of the reach of Butler.

Sutton’s Simon Walton thought he had nicked a last gasp leveller in the final seconds but his glancing header flashed inches wide of the far post.

Fylde boss Challinor admits a roasting at the interval spurred his side on to victory: “I hate losing and I hate drawing so I was livid at half-time.

“However we had a right go in the second half and put a good team under real pressure. We were the team after the break that looked like they wanted to win the game and it was throughly deserved in the end.”

Sutton boss Paul Doswell cut a frustrated figure at full-time: “We are very disappointed to come away with nothing when with 15 minutes to go it looked like we would get all three points. We set up very well and the shape was working, but two errors on our part have proved costly.” 

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Francis-Angol, Bond (Tasdemir 62), Montrose, Finley, Hardy (Muldoon 67), Smith (Lawlor 86), Rowe.

Subs not used: Blinkhorn, Taylor.

Sutton: Butler, T. Thomas, Downer (Harrison 83), John, A. Thomas, Walton, Davis, Eastmond, Cadogan, Bolarinwa (Stearn 83), Wright (Dundas 70).

Subs not used: Beckwith, Beautyman.

Ref: Thomas Bramall

Att: 1,789