Chester vs AFC Fylde

FA Trophy
Sat 16th December 2017
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

AFC Fylde suffered their second cup exit of the week as they slipped out of the FA Trophy on penalties at Chester.

Serhat Tasdemir forced extra-time when he cancelled out Ross Hannah’s opener before Danny Rowe looked to have won it for the visitors five minutes after the restart.

However, Lucas Dawson slotted into an empty net to level the scores and Jonny Smith’s missed spot-kick sealed the victory for Chester. 

Manager Dave Challinor made a host of changes from the side that lined up against Wigan Athletic in midweek – notably Rhys Taylor replacing Jay Lynch in goal.

There was a slow start to proceedings at a drizzly Swansway Chester Stadium, however it was Chester that perhaps looked the most likely during the opening exchanges – James Akintunde sneaking a shot underneath Rhys Taylor that drifted narrowly wide from the edge of the area.

The first real chance of the afternoon for the visitors fell to Matt Blinkhorn when he met Jordan Richards’ right wing cross with a powerful header that flew just over the bar. 

It took until the 25 minute for either goalkeeper to be really tested and it was Fylde stopper Taylor that was called into action, tipping over Hannah’s vicious 20-yard drive.

Dawson picked out Tom Shaw for Chester as the weary opening to the match continued, however his touch six yards out let him down and the danger was cleared.

Blues keeper Sam Hornby had to be alert to Richards’ goal bound free kick on the half-hour, scampering along his line to prevent the full-back finding the top corner.

Richards was providing a real threat for the visitors and his low ball across the area was lashed over the bar by Andy Mangan via a slight deflection. Blinkhorn clipped his effort well wide from the resultant corner.

The match was brought to life shortly after the break when Chester took the lead. Frontman Hannah was played clean through by Shaw and he neatly rounded Taylor before sliding the ball into an open goal.

After a lengthy stoppage in play as Blinkhorn received treatment for a head injury, Hannah was again sent away, however this time Taylor came out on top, racing out to clear the danger.

Attacker Jonny Smith was brought on as the Coasters looked for a way back into the contest and they almost found it when Tom McCready’s superb free-kick into the area found George Edmundson, however he controlled the ball with his hand and was booked for his troubles.

The visitors were knocking on the door as a corner from the right reached Simon Grand at the back post but his header was comfortable for the Blues stopper.

The hosts really should have had a second with 20 minutes to go when Hannah intercepted a loose pass from Jason Taylor and slipped in Akintunde who cut inside Grand before seeing his low strike smothered by Taylor.

Straight up at the other end, Smith found himself in a shooting position on the six yard line however the youngster was thwarted by Sam Hornby.

Even the introduction of Danny Rowe failed to rejuvenate the visitors who were struggling to carve through a rigid Chester backline. Fellow substitute Tasdemir saw a strike deflected over the bar as the clock ticked down.

Midfielder Jason Taylor tried his luck from distance in the final moments, but his effort was in vain as it skipped wide of Hornby’s right hand post. 

However, there was still time for another twist as the Coasters grabbed a last minute equaliser. Rowe cutely played in Tasdemir on the edge of the area and the 17-year-old bundled his way through before emphatically lashing the ball past Hornby.

Chester should have nicked it in the final seconds when Hannah’s free-kick was palmed into the path of Reece Hall-Johnson but his low effort was cleared off the line by Rowe.

The Coasters took just five minutes to break Chester hearts when Danny Rowe popped up with a customary goal. Smith’s cross was fumbled by Hornby and the ball fell kindly for Rowe to bury his strike into the bottom corner.    

The late drama continued to unfold as Chester dragged themselves level three minutes later. Substitute Daniel Udoh saw his strike well saved by Taylor, however the ball broke to Dawson who had the relatively simple task of stroking his shot into the gaping goal.

Tasdemir should have doubled his tally shortly after the break in extra-time when he was again played in cleverly by Rowe, however this time he fired his effort straight at the figure of Hornby.

Extra-time was proving far more of a spectacle than the previous 90 minutes and Hannah was close to nicking it after racing clean through but Luke Burke did fantastically well to recover and thwart the frontman.

Rowe got the ball rolling as the penalty shoot out commenced, finding the bottom right corner with aplomb. Richards, Tasdemir and McCready all converted their spot-kicks, however Smith blasted his over the bar, allowing Andy Halls to win it for the hosts with a fine effort into the top left corner.

Chester: Hornby, James, Astles, Hannah, Dawson, Jones, Akintunde (Udoh 82), Shaw (Turnbull 76), Hall-Johnson, Gough (Halls 57), Anderson. 

Subs not used: Lynch, Mahon.

AFC Fylde: R. Taylor, Richards, Burke, Grand, Edmundson, Ezewele, J. Taylor, McCready, Mangan (Tasdemir 71), Muldoon (Rowe 76), Blinkhorn (Smith 65). 

Subs not used: Tunnicliffe, Montrose.

Ref: Joseph Johnson

Att: 886