No revenge for Fylde but a second chance

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AFC Fylde 1 Chorley 1

AFC Fylde could count themselves unfortunate not to gain revenge for last season’s play-off final defeat in this hard-fought FA Cup tie.

Tom Ince gave the visitors the lead on 50 minutes but James Heywood equalised for Fylde six minutes later to make sure both side go into today’s draw for the second qualifying round.

But it was the home side who finished the game the stronger and had the better chances to score a winner.

Both derby rivals had been beaten only once this season and were clearly in no mood to double that figure.

Fylde gave a debut to the former Fleetwood and Preston North End midfielder Warren Beattie, signed the previous day after a stint in Australia.

A second new signing, striker Rob Turner, was on the bench after impressing manager Kelham O’Hanlon last season playing for Clitheroe.

Turner has been signed to add competition up front following the departures of Dave Swarbrick and Ben Waddington.

Fylde’s high-profile striker signing Keigan Parker started on the bench due to a minor foot injury, though Lee Thorpe returned after three matches out with hamstring trouble.

O’Hanlon’s side started the brighter and Ritchie Allen could have given them the lead after 11 minutes but his shot was comfortably saved by keeper Russ Saunders.

Saunders then had to be at his best to deny Michael Barnes, diving to his left. The same Fylde player had earlier scuffed a chance wide.

Chorley’s first chance came on 24 minutes but Steve Flitcroft’s shot sailed high over the bar.

Three minutes later, Danny McDonald had to be at full stretch to palm Adam Roscoe’s effort away for a corner.

Beattie nearly gave the Coasters the lead three minutes before half-time, when the home side broke quickly from a Chorley corner.

Barnes’ long run into the penalty box ended with the ball being squared for AFC’s new signing, who fired over.

Fylde began the second half well but fell behind five minutes in, when Ince’s deflected shot squeezed between goalkeeper Danny McDonald and his near post. The home side responded well and didn’t have long to wait to equalise.

Allen ran at the defence, found his way into the box and unleashed a shot which Saunders could only block into the path of Heywood, who slotted home from six yards.

While Chorley were largely restricted to shots from distance in the final half-hour, Fylde had three late chances.

Allen went through on goal with six minutes remaining but his shot was blocked, then substitute Ricky Mercer threw himself at a corner but his header just cleared the bar.

And in the third minute of added time, Allen’s shot from the edge of the area looped inches over.

O’Hanlon was left with mixed feelings. He said: “I was really pleased with the way the lads kept on going and knocking on the door.

“But I’m disappointed that we didn’t win the game because we had chances in both halves that we didn’t take.”

The replay takes tomorrow at Victory Park, kick-off 7.45pm.

CHRISTOPHER PARK

Fylde: McDonald, Heywood, Stringfellow, Steel, Beattie, Booth, Kay (Mercer 85), Thorpe (Parker 75), Allen, Barnes (Turner 90); not used: Unsworth, Doughty, Penswick, McNiven.