Coasters and Moors play out stalemate at a gusty Mill Farm.
AFC Fylde continue to battle for safety in the Vanarama National League, following Saturday afternoon’s goalless home draw against Solihull Moors.
The two teams had to attempt to overcome the impact of high winds at Mill Farm, with the result seeing the Coasters 10 points adrift of league safety, albeit with two games in hand on hovering Chesterfield.
This week’s new recruit between the sticks, Josh Lillis, was brought straight into the starting XI by Jim Bentley – with fellow arrival Lewis Thompson appearing late on from the substitutes’ bench.
Jimmy Shan’s Solihull side gathered a steady flow of possession in the opening stages of the encounter, and saw half-chances develop through Josh Carline – who was denied by Lillis with a low drive – and Jake Beesley, who headed over six yards from goal.
Whilst the Coasters struggled for long spells in possession, the hosts created occasional opportunities in the tough conditions as both Luke Burke and Danny Philliskirk were thwarted by goalkeeper Ryan Boot, and Jamie Proctor made contact with a threatening corner delivery which was eventually dealt with.
After a cagey affair for the remainder of the first half, the interval was called following Tom Walker’s left-footed free-kick, kept out by Boot meaning we went in level at the break.
HALF TIME: AFC Fylde 0-0 Solihull Moors
A double substitution from visiting boss Shan tilted the clash back in the Moors’ favour, as they dominated the opening exchanges of the second period, through additional assistance from the elements. Veteran substitute Danny Wright came the closest early on in the half, sending a looping flick onto the top of Lillis’ net, before Mitch Hancox’s injury forced Solihull into their final change with over half an hour still remaining.
It was midway through the second half when Fylde looked to gather momentum and forced a genuine chance, as Jordan Williams’ low driven effort looked to be heading on target, only to ricochet off the unfortunate Proctor as the striker attempted to evade the shot.
Debutant Thompson entered the field alongside Lewis Montrose with 20 minutes to play, and the latter came mighty close to finding the net as he was picked out by a superb right-wing delivery from Burke, but was unable to adjust his positioning to force a shot on target.
As conditions continued to wreak havoc, Solihull’s long balls upfield remained the primary source of any potential impact on goal, with Wright and youngster Nick Clayton-Phillips looking particularly threatening. The Fylde defence stood firm – not least through some excellent late defending from Philliskirk to deny Darren Carter and skipper Neill Byrne’s subsequent challenge to extinguish the Moors’ final attack – and Lillis’ assured display and clean sheet was enough to earn a point.
FULL TIME: AFC Fylde 0-0 Solihull Moors
AFC Fylde: Lillis, Byrne (c), Whitmore, Croasdale, Proctor (Thompson 69’), Philliskirk, Williams, Burke, Willoughby, Walker (Montrose 69’), French
Subs not used: Hornby, Bradley, Yeates
Solihull Moors: Boot, Williams, Storer (c), Carter, Hancox (Clayton-Phillips 57’), Hawkridge, Carline, Bajrami, Howe, Ball (Blissett 46’), Beesley (Wright 46’)