AFC Fylde vs Skelmersdale United

FA Trophy
Tue 15th December 2015
Score: 4 - 4

Match Report

AFC Fylde face a replay with Skelmersdale United for a place in the FA Trophy second round after an extraordinary 4-4 draw at Kellamergh Park.

The game looked dead and buried as the Coasters raced into a 3-0 goal lead with strikes from Rowe (2) and Danny Lloyd.

However, the visitors had other ideas and bagged an incredible four goals in 20 second-half minutes.

There was salvation for Dave Challinor’s side with two minutes to play when Rowe popped up at the back post to slot home his hat-trick.

Challinor named a strong side with goalscorer James Hardy keeping his place in midfield, whilst Adam Sumner returned from injury to fill in at left-back.

Winger Lloyd was another to feature after missing the last match with a dead leg.

The Coasters flew out of the blocks when Rowe fed Lloyd on the left of the box inside the first minute, but his left foot shot across goal was blocked.

The visitors broke through on a couple of occasions early on, but the linesman’s flag came to the rescue both times.

Rowe was next to try his luck during the opening exchanges when his fierce drive from 25 yards arrowed narrowly wide of the left-hand post.

The hosts were agonisingly close to opening the scoring on eight minutes when Caspar Hughes latched on to cute through-pass from Matty Hughes, but his effort was deflected wide.

The deadlock was broken just moments later, Rowe picking up the ball just outside the area and firing a trademark rocket into the bottom right-hand corner.

Rowe was proving to be a real menace to the Skelmersdale backline and he danced into the area, before seeing his low cross cleared back in his direction to head narrowly over the bar.

United almost pulled one back on 15 minutes and Kenny Strickland really should have done better from Shaun Holden’s cutback.

Hughes looked eager to add to his solitary goal this season and went close with a left-footed curler from the right of the box.

However, it was Rowe who doubled the advantage on 19 minutes – cutting inside from Hardy’s pass and striking low into far right corner.  

Both teams pressed and probed and there was some delightful football on show as the game approached the half-hour mark, but with no real chances of note since the second goal.

Visiting striker Gerard Kinsella looked to reduce the deficit on 38 minutes, but he steered a cut-back just over from 18 yards, before heading over when well placed seconds later.

Fylde made a bright start to the second half and extended their advantage just three minutes after the restart. Rowe bore down on goal, slipped in Hardy who in turn laid the ball on for Lloyd to tap home at the back post.

Skelmersdale had their best chance of the match on 54 minutes when the ball fell kindly to Kinsella 12 yards from goal, but his thumping effort struck the chest of Dom Collins on the line.

Kinsella was looking the most likely for the visitors and he had another attempt when he span his man and fired straight down the throat of Ben Hinchliffe.

Substitute Dion Charles had a great chance on the hour-mark when he raced down the middle, but dragged his shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Skelmersdale pulled one back on 66 minutes and it was a real beauty. Fylde lost possession and opposing striker Yaw Gyimah broke free before curling a spectacular shot into the top corner, leaving Hinchliffe with no chance.

No sooner had the game restarted and it was well and truly game on as the visitors grabbed a second – Tom Ince capitalising on a defensive mix up to slot home. The Coasters were starting to look understandably nervy.

Rowe looked to take it upon himself to drag Fylde further ahead and he was close to netting the goal of the season on 73 minutes. Turning two men with one drop of the shoulder, before beating another with a Maradona-style spin, he fired a vicious left-footed over the bar.

On 81 minutes an unlikely comeback was complete. The ball bounced about in the area from a corner before Paul Woolcott headed home the loose ball.

Things went from bad to worse two minutes later when Skelmersdale took an unbelievable lead – Chris Almond striking a fine effort into the bottom right hand corner from 18 yards.

There was to be a yet another twist and it was Rowe who was to have the final say. Josh Langley fired a low cross towards the back post and there was Rowe to tap home his hat-trick.

AFC Fylde Hinchliffe, C. Hughes, Langley, Roscoe, Sumner, Baker, Hardy (Blinkhorn 63), Finley (Collins 20), M. Hughes (Charles 39), Lloyd, Rowe.

Subs not used: Kay, Whittle.

Goals: Rowe 10, 19, 88 Lloyd 48

Skelmersdale United: Fearon, Fernandez, Holden, McIntosh, Rendall, Woolcott, Almond, Strickland, Gyimah, Kinsella (Staunton-Turner 90), Ince.

Subs not used: Corrigan, Donaldson, Kusaloka, Gaskell.

Goals: Gyimah 66, Ince 69, Woolcott 81, Almond 84

Ref: Glen Hart

Att 221