Rushall Olympic vs AFC Fylde

Tue 1st April 2014
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

HT: 1-1

Att: 146

AFC Fylde were denied victory thanks to a brace from nemesis Ahmed Obeng late in each half but still move up to third in the Evo-Stik Premier Division table on goal difference.

A piece of Richie Allen magic gave Fylde the lead on 17 minutes before Obeng, who caused chaos for Fylde last season, equalised with a shot on the rebound on 36.

Then, in the second half Joe Booth’s missed penalty proved not to be too crucial as Harry Winter restored Fylde’s lead three minutes later but Obeng was on hand to snatch a point with a close-range tap-in four minutes from time.

Luke Denson then went off with a serious knee injury meaning The Coasters had to play the eight minutes of injury time with ten men having used all their substitutes by that point.

The home side started well and should have had the lead themselves inside seven minutes but Ben Hinchliffe pulled off a fine double save to deny Obeng then Stan Mugisha from point-blank range.

Despite Rushall’s early dominance they created little else and it was Allen who scored the first goal of the game with a superb lob from outside the box 17 minutes in – picking the ball up on the right he cut inside and found his way to the left where he had time and space to pick his spot and give Fylde the lead.

Rushall were still in the game though and after Jamie Spencer headed over four minutes later, Obeng scored his first from a rebound after his initial shot was blocked by what looked like a Fylde arm.

The Pics then had a great chance to go into the break with the lead when Mugisha played a great one-two with Spencer but his shot hit the side netting from a tight angle.

Dave Challinor made the unusual move of bringing on two substitutes at half time when Mike Barnes and Joe Booth replaced Danny Lloyd and Sean Cooke and that proved to be a good move from the Fylde boss.

Spencer somehow missed two gilt edged chances to give his side the lead early in the half heading wide both times from well-placed corners before Carl Palmer shot narrowly wide with a looping effort from 30 yards.

But the turning point of the game seemed to come on 67 minutes when Matt Blinkhorn was judged to have been bundled to the ground by Jimmy Turner and the referee pointed straight to the penalty spot.

Joe Booth stepped up but Chris Gemmell dived the right way to save his spot kick and send the ball out for a corner.

However, The Coasters weren’t rattled by that and were able to take the lead just four minutes on when a sublime cross-field ball from Barnes found Allen free inside the box. Gemmell couldn’t keep hold of his shot and Winter raced in to tidy up from the rebound.

That was by far Fylde’s best spell of the game as Allen and Blinkhorn missed further half-chances to double the lead.

But Obeng started to cause Fylde problems at the back again and after Hinchliffe saved one attempt, Rushall soon won a corner which found its way to the back post where the young striker was on hand to tap in another leveller.

It was all Rushall during the eight minutes of injury time but The Coasters held on for what will hopefully be a valuable point rather than a disappointing two points dropped.

Challinor said after the game: “Initial thoughts are that it’s a difficult one to take after being so close to winning it.

“We’ve worked hard for our goals and their first one was a decent strike but the second one was a poor goal to concede, especially with only ten minutes or so to go.

“Looking back in the future you might look at this as an important point for us but the three points would have been huge for us.”

The Fylde boss added: “Rushall have only lost twice at home all season so we know it’s a difficult place to come. It think we’ve played well on a difficult pitch where it’s more of a battle and it’s a case of doing the basics.

“In terms of Luke’s injury we’ll look at getting that looked at as soon as possible. It looks like some medial ligament and cartilage damage similar to what happened to Tom Eckersley and best case scenario that will probably be the end of his season.”

Fylde now head into a game against already-relegated Stocksbridge Park Steels on Saturday at Kellamergh Park looking for a 20th game undefeated in all competitions. Kick off 3pm.

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hankin, Sumner, Denson, Russell, B. Barnes (C), Lloyd (M. Barnes 46), Winter, Blinkhorn (M. Hughes 84), Cooke (Booth 46), Allen; Subs not used: C. Hughes, Noon.