North Ferriby United 2 AFC Fylde 1: Promotion Final report and reaction

Consolation for dejected captain Tom Hannigan   Picture: Greig Bertram / AGBPhoto
Consolation for dejected captain Tom Hannigan Picture: Greig Bertram / AGBPhoto
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AFC Fylde cruelly missed out on promotion after suffering extra-time heartbreak against North Ferriby United in the Promotion Final on Humberside

Coasters midfielder Sam Finley gave the visitors an early lead but they were pegged back on the stroke of half-time by Wayne Brooksby.

With the scores still level at the full time whistle, the match went into extra time and Ferriby found their winner when Danny Hone bundled home from close range.

Dave Challinor named the same starting line-up for the fourth consecutive match for the trip to the Eon Visual Media Stadium.

North Ferriby tested goalkeeper Matt Urwin early on when Liam King raced through but the stopper was equal to the captain’s low strike at the near post.

Star striker Danny Rowe was a whisker away from opening the scoring at the other end when he beat his man inside the area and struck a vicious left footed shot across goal that Adam Nicklin did well to turn around the post.

Ferriby dangerman Tom Denton, who has 21 league goals to his name this season, had his first sight of goal on 15 minutes but headed well over from Curtis Bateson’s left wing cross.

After a nervous start, the match began to settle down and the duly visitors took the lead after 24 minutes. Richie Baker looped a cross into the box and Finley tucked the ball home from a yard out after a goalmouth scramble.

Fylde were given a double scare ten minutes from the break when substitute Russ Fry first smashed a strike at the Coasters goal that Urwin palmed over the bar and King hit the post from the resultant corner.

The hosts were starting to build momentum and centre-half Danny Hone was close when he rose highest in the box but his header was deflected over. Denton tried his luck from the edge of the area on the stroke of half-time but his volley was well clear of the goal.

However, in the third minute of added time Ferriby were back on level terms. A kind bounce saw King break into the box from the left and he squared for Brooksby to tap home unmarked at the far post.

Challinor made a switch at half-time with Dion Charles replacing James Hardy on the right wing.

Ferriby were given a major let off seconds after the restart when Hone dragged down Matty Hughes when he appeared to be the last man but referee Anthony Backhouse was unmoved.

The hosts had the ball in the Fylde net on 48 minutes when King swept the ball home from a yard, but Denton was adjudged to have fouled Josh Langley in the build-up.

Ferriby were the team in the ascendancy and could have gone ahead had Brooksby been as accurate as with his first effort when he met King’s cross at the back post, but he blasted well over Urwin’s bar. Finley was equally high and wide with a similar effort a moment later on the edge of the opposition box.

Fylde started to pile on the pressure with 20 minutes remaining and both Rowe and Hughes had efforts blocked as the visitors looked for a second goal. Charles was next to chance his arm but his header at the back post drifted harmlessly wide.

Brooksby was proving a menace to the Fylde backline and should have netted with a rasping drive from 18 yards that flew inches wide of the right post.

Fylde were presented with a great chance when Rowe line-up for a trademark free-kick but smashed it straight into the wall. Charles should have won the match for the Coasters with seconds left to play but he somehow ballooned the ball well over the bar from eight yards to send the match into extra time.

Extra time began in the same vein as the second half finished and Lloyd tried to get in behind and put Nicklin under pressure, but the flag spared the keeper’s blushes as he headed the ball outside his area.

Five minutes later and the hosts took the lead when defender Danny Hone bundled home from a deep corner to break Fylde hearts. Fylde tried to respond immediately when Rowe found Baker on the edge of the box but the midfielder’s effort flew high and wide.

Minutes before the change of ends saw Lloyd and Rowe exchange passes inside the area but the former fired narrowly over the top.

In pursuit of a crucial equaliser, Bohan Dixon turned in midfield and unleashed a great effort that Nicklin did well to keep out.

Fylde thought they had the equaliser when Lloyd turned in from close range but the flag was up and Fylde were denied promotion to the top tier of the non-league pyramid.

Having missed out in the play-offs two seasons running following promotion to National North, the Coasters will hope to make it third time lucky at their new Mill Farm home next term .

DANIEL AGNEW