The Coasters traveled to Nantwich Town with pre-season in full swing. Before this game, The Coasters had won three and lost one of their first four games and they added a draw to that list after a Dion Charles goal on twenty-seven minutes cancelled out a seventeenth minute opener from Matty Kosylo.
Fylde had some good early possession but it was the home side who went closest to scoring first through the ex-Northern Ireland international Steve Jones as his left footed shot was kept out by Hinchliffe in the Coasters goal. Shortly after, Nantwich had the ball in the back of the net through Matt Kosylo but the referee adjudged Hinchliffe to have been fouled before he could collect the ball and the goal was disallowed.
The home side went close again to scoring after a defensive mix-up between Collins and Hinchliffe nearly allowed them in to score before a dangerous ball in from the right from Dabbers right back Gordon nearly found Kosylo again but it just evaded him. With all this Nantwich pressure in the opening fifteen minutes, it looked likely that they would break the deadlock. Joe McGee was determined to stop that happening and he tried to put The Coasters in the lead when he went close as his controlled shot went agonizingly wide.
Striker Matt Kosylo did however open the scoring for the home side after he chased down a wayward ball back to the keeper. He took the ball round Ben Hinchliffe and put the ball past him and into the back of the net at the second attempt.
After another period of good possession for Fylde, Matty Hughes won a free-kick twenty-five yards out. Richie Baker stepped up and curled it round the wall but the ball cannoned back off the bar and the home side managed to clear it away. Darren Thornton, Nantwich’s captain, then had attempt at goal from a free-kick down the other end but it was well saved by Hinchliffe.
The equalizer came on the twenty-seventh minutes through the ever improving Dion Charles. A Coasters corner wasn’t dealt with properly and the ball fell kindly to Charles on the edge of the box and he stroked the ball confidently past Smith in the Dabbers goal to bring the score level. 1-1.
Charles then went close to turning the game on its head and giving the Coasters the lead after he put the ball through a defenders legs before firing a fierce shot towards Smith’s goal but Smith did well to parry it away for a corner. Fylde then won a free-kick down the right hand side which Richie Baker took and the ball eventually found its way to Matty Hughes but his first time effort went just over the bar. The Coasters enjoyed a large percentage of the possession in the first half but they couldn’t quite take advantage.
Just before the break, an error from Brad Barnes nearly allowed Matt Kosylo in for a second for him and a second for the home side but Hinchliffe got down well to deny the Dabbers striker and keep the score at 1-1 going into the half time.
Danny Lloyd was introduced at half-time and eight minutes into the second half Lloyd went close to giving The Coasters the lead as his terrific left footed drive at goal sailed inches over the bar. Nantwich’s left back Andy White tried his luck from the left hand side but his shot cleared the bar and nearly cleared the stadium. A long ball forward from Hinchliffe saw Blinkhorn flick the ball on well towards the onrushing Richie Baker but his stabbed effort at goal from just outside the box went just over.
The Coasters then had the chance to take the lead after a penalty was awarded against Chris Smith for handball. Danny Lloyd stepped up to take the resulting spot-kick, but unfortunately for him and for Fylde, Lloyd hit it straight at Smith and he reclaimed the ball at the second attempt.
Just two minutes later, the home side were awarded a penalty as Steve Jones went down in the box under a challenge from Josh Langley. Jones stepped up to take and fired the ball over the bar – the second missed penalty in the space of just a couple of minutes to make sure the game was still level going into the final half an hour.
Good build up play down the left through Caspar Hughes and Danny Lloyd saw the latter produce a fine cross to find Matt Blinkhorn unmarked in the box but Blinkhorn couldn’t direct his header on target. The home side then went on the counter attack and only a fine stop with his feet from Hinchliffe denied Steve Jones the chance to put Nantwich ahead on sixty-five minutes.
Dabbers sub Chris Speed then tested Hinchliffe as he tried to place a shot into the bottom right hand corner but the Coasters keeper was well down to it to keep it out. Richie Baker then went close for Fylde as his passed shot at goal produced a fine save from Smith to keep it level.
Lloyd then had a golden chance to put the Coasters in the lead with just ten minutes to go as he ran through on goal down the left but his powerful shot cleared the crossbar and wasn’t troubling Smith in the home goal. Substitute Danny Rowe went even closer to scoring as he turned well in the box to avoid a couple of defenders but his dragged shot trickled agonizingly wide.
Both sides will feel they should have taken their chances in this game and either side could have won it if they scored their respective penalties, but the game ended 1-1 and The Coasters move on to face Bolton Wanderers on Wednesday evening.
Nantwich Town: Smith, Gordon, White, Thornton ©, Moran, Smith (45), Jones, Hall, Kosylo (59), Bell (45), Short (45).
Subs: Osborne (45), Shotton (45), Speed (59), Hudson (45), Bourne, Hawkins
Goals: Kosylo (17)
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Collins (70), Hughes, Langley (70), Hannigan, Barnes (c), Baker, McGee (51), Blinkhorn (70), Hughes (45), Charles.
Subs: Rowe (70), Wilson (51), Allen (70), Lloyd (45), Gregory (70), Whittingham
Goals: Charles (27)
HT: Nantwich Town 1-1 AFC Fylde
Man of the Match: Richie Baker