AFC Fylde 2 Boreham Wood 2: Full match report

Jonny Smith's equaliser earns Fylde a point  Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Jonny Smith's equaliser earns Fylde a point Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
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AFC Fylde had to settle for a share of the spoils on their National League debut at Mill Farm.

The hosts got off to a dream start, when defender Danny Woodards headed into his own goal, but Ricky Shakes levelled on the stroke of half-time.

Boreham Wood completed the turnaround soon after the break through Kane Smith’s back-post header before Fylde new man Jonny Smith fired home a spectacular equaliser.

Fylde manager Dave Challinor named five debutants in his starting line-up, including a new-look backline.

The visitors dominated the early exchanges but their final ball was lacking and they were almost made to pay on 10 minutes. Danny Rowe shrugged off his man on the right and played a delicate ball to Andy Bond, whose diving header saved by the stretching Grant Smith.

Boreham Wood threatened with their first strike on goal moments late but Kieran Murtagh dragged his left-footed attempt well wide.

History was made on 17 minutes, when Fylde opened their account in the top flight of non-league. Zaine Francis-Angol bombed down the left before whipping in a fierce cross that was headed into his own goal by defender Danny Woodards.

The Coasters could have had a second three minutes later. Midfielder Sam Finley skipped past two challenges but could only find the side-netting.

Full-back Kane Smith’s eyes lit up as a loose ball fell kindly to him on the edge of the Fylde penalty area, and his well-struck effort fizzed narrowly wide of the far post.

A goal was coming for the visitors and it arrived seconds beforehalf-time. Angelo Balanta’s deep cross from the right was powered home at the back post by Shakes.

There was still little between the sides after the break as Rowe blasted a free-kick well over the bar.

The frontman, who netted 50 goals last season, was agonisingly close to bagging his first of the new campaign when he was picked out by Jack Muldoon but shot wide from close range.

The miss proved costly as the visitors took the lead with the next attack on 56 minutes. Goalscorer Shakes crossed to the far post and Smith’s downward header found the bottom corner through a crowd of players.

Fylde hit back and centre-half Jordan Tunnicliffe flicked a header just wide with his back to goal.

The Coasters sprang into life with 15 minutes to go and grabbed a deserved equaliser. Substitute Henry Jones nicked the ball in the middle and fed Smith, signed on loan from Bristol City just 24 hours earlier, who fired an unstoppable left-footed strike into the top corner.

Shakes’ first-time effort from 18 yards was straight at Fylde keeper Rhys Taylor.

Jones made a late break or the home side but couldn’t get a shot away under pressure from Mark Ricketts, claims for a penalty ignored by referee Joe Hull.

Fylde: Taylor, Ezewele (Smith 64), Tunnicliffe, Langley, Francis-Angol, Montrose, Bond, Finley, Hardy (Jones 64), Muldoon, Rowe; Not used: Lynch, Grand, Blinkhorn.

Boreham Wood: G. Smith, K. Smith, Woodards (Andrade 72), Ricketts, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Benson, Murtagh, Turley, Balanta; not used: Johnson, Jeffers, Sach, Keita.

Ref: Joe Hull; Att: 1,641