Contentious decision denies Fylde

Jim Heywood is brought down on the wing
Jim Heywood is brought down on the wing

AFC FYLDE 2, FARSLEY 2

AFC FYLDE were denied a win after a late equaliser from the visitors following a contentious refereeing decision at Kellamergh Park.

A Ben Jones header from a free kick in the final minute deprived Fylde of three points against an in-form Farsley side.

The visitors will have seen this as a vital point in their own challenge for promotion.

The visitors started well, and pressed the home side in the opening 15 minutes, and they had the best opportunity of the half when they hit the bar after good work from Farsley striker Dave Stead, whose shot was tipped on to the woodwork from the returning keeper Rick Whiteside.

Fylde’s first chance fell to top scorer Richie Allen, when he was played in by Keigan Parker, but his shot was blocked well by Farsley keeper Tom Taylor from close range.

Then midway through the half, Parker did well down the right and played in Lee Thorpe, but the striker’s shot narrowly missed the target.

Farsley’s Simeon Bambrook then opened up the home defence and found Ben Jones just yards from goal, and his effort flew over the bar.

Despite the lack of goals, it was an entertaining 45 minutes, with both teams playing some good football.

It was Fylde who started the second period the stronger, with chances going begging with the attacking force of Allen, Booth, Thorpe and Parker causing problems for the Farsley rearguard.

Finally a breakthrough came, and it was in-form striker Parker who got Fylde in front, when he fired home on 51 minutes, blasting in a shot past the Farsley keeper.

Minutes later and Joe Booth got on the end of Parker’s teasing cross, but his volley skimmed the bar as they looked for another goal to build on their early momentum.

Farsley then hit back and equalised when Jimmy Heywood upended a Farsley player in a goalmouth scramble, and Ben Jones fired home from the spot.

Lee Thorpe went close to making it 2-1 when he found himself free in the box, but his shot was saved by Taylor and the ball ran to safety.

The elusive second came seven minutes from time, when Joe Booth got the Coasters back in front, crashing home a shot off the upright after Richie Allen sprinted down the left and hit a dangerous ball into a crowded box.

In the final minute, a free-kick was awarded against the home side after a high challenge from a Fylde defender on the edge of their own box. The visitors’ full-back Nathan Jones curled in a free-kick and Jones rose highest to kill off Fylde’s hopes of maximum points.

Fylde boss Kelham O’Hanlon cursed his side’s luck in a game they were looking to win.

He said: “It was a game we just had to see out to make sure of the points.

“We had a couple of opportunities to clear the ball before they were awarded the free-kick, but we didn’t deal with it, irrespective of what it was given for. We had enough chances in the second half to kill them off, and that was what disappointed me most. ”

Fylde are now preparing for next Saturday’s FA Trophy clash away at Andy Preece’s Northwich Victoria.

AFC FYLDE: Whiteside, Heywood, Jarvis, Mercer, Steel, Beattie (Penswick), Booth, Kay, Parker, Thorpe, Allen. Subs not used: McDonald, Kusaloka, Doughty, Stringfellow.