Maidenhead 1- 1 AFC Fylde
Kelly 47’ – Byrne 73’
AFC Fylde had to make do with a point in Jim Bentley’s first game in charge, with Neill Byrne’s header cancelling out Josh Kelly’s acrobatic effort.
The Coasters were unchanged for their third game in a row, with Jim Bentley opting not to make changes to the side that won at Boreham Wood on Saturday afternoon.
This seemed to be going to plan in the first half and, once the Coasters had withstood some early pressure from the hosts, should have taken the lead through Luke Burke.
After some patient build-up play, the energetic full-back was slipped in by Nick Haughton, with just the keeper to beat – but was guilty of rushing his effort, and fired wide.
Nick Haughton was at the centre of it all in his favoured role as a central playmaker – and he too almost broke the deadlock for the Coasters.
After showing quick feet, and having space open up in front of him, Haughton darted inside, before wrapping a right-footed effort just past Dunn’s post – narrowly missing out on his second of the season.
The half continued in this vein, with the Coasters the most comfortable of the two sides – Kosylo and Williams working hard in wide berths to try and make things happen.
Haughton again could have found the net when Andy Taylor’s gutsy run into the box was followed up with a cross, but Haughton’s curled effort was comfortable for Gunn in the end.
Unfortunately for Fylde, the restart seemed to shift momentum, and it didn’t take long until the hosts had their noses in front, in spectacular circumstances.
After a corner was cleared and the chance recycled, Josh Kelly found the ball sit up rather invitingly for him on the edge of the box and the forward was duly obliging, firing an acrobatic volley which looped into Montgomery’s top corner.
This gave life to the Magpies, who kept the pressure on Fylde, with Josh Kelly trying an effort from all of 45 yards after seeing Montgomery off of his line.
Slowly but surely, Fylde found themselves getting back into the game, and on 70 minutes Jordan Williams saw a thunderous effort bounce back off of the inside of the post and wide.
The strike was hit with such power that it gave the keeper little chance to even attempt a save, and whilst it seemed to everyone as if it would nestle in the top left hand corner, it struck the woodwork and bounced clear.
This gave Fylde belief, and in the next attack, were level.
As a player Jim Bentley was a centre-back with an eye for goal, so perhaps it was only fitting that the first goal his AFC Fylde side would score would mirror just that.
Haughton’s whipped corner was met by the towering Neill Byrne, who angled a perfect header into Dunn’s top right hand corner, levelling the game.
Bradley was introduced for Haughton with just over ten to go, and his impact was almost a direct one, as he headed the ball into Williams’ path – but this time the former Rochdale man’s effort was wide.
Despite the late show of intent from Fylde, it could easily have been a Maidenhead victory, as poor defending from a corner offered Upwards a free header – but luckily, it bounced off of the top of the crossbar, and away.
One last chance to win the game fell to the feet of Danny Rowe, as Luke Burke’s near perfect ball to the back post was met by the number 9 – but on this occasion, his volley was high and wide.
The Bentley era begins with a point on the road, and for Fylde, focus now turns to Saturday’s home tie with Dover Athletic, kicking off at 3pm.
Maidenhead: Dunn, Clerima (Davies 75′), Comley, Cassidy, Kelly (Mensah 83′), Whitehall, Twusami, Sheckleford, Upward, Massey (C), Smile.
Subs: Steer, Davies, Mensah, Brinsett.
AFC Fylde: Montgomery, Taylor, Whitmore, Byrne, Burke, Croasdale, Philliskirk, Haughton (Bradley 76′), Kosylo, Williams, Rowe.
Subs: Hornby, Jameson, Forbes, Yeates.