AFC Fylde assistant manager Colin Woodthorpe says Tuesday’s remarkable 10-goal FA Trophy thriller at Ramsbottom United shows just how unpredictable cup football can be.
READ MORE Ramsbottom United 5 AFC Fylde 5: Match report
The Coasters have been forced to replay their third round tie at Mill Farm next Tuesday after an amazing 5-5 draw against the Northern Premier League Division One West club.
Fylde looked set for a routine cup win when they went 2-0 up, but two goals in two minutes saw Ramsbottom draw level before Jordan Tunnicliffe put Dave Challinor’s men 3-2 back in front on the stroke of half-time.
Fylde went 4-2 up two minutes after the restart but again Ramsbottom came back to level it up with 20 minutes to play.
Ramsbottom went ahead for the first time with just seven minutes remaining only for the Coasters to slam home an equaliser four minutes later through Andy Bond.
Despite conceding five goals to a club who play three levels below Fylde, Woodthorpe opted not to be too critical of Fylde’s display and instead lavished praise on Ramsbottom.
“I thought Ramsbottom were unbelievably good. They gave us a proper game,” said Challinor’s number two. “It was more like an FA Cup tie than an FA Trophy game.
“It was difficult conditions but they were really good. While they played unbelievably well, we still managed to get something out of it.
“I did say at half-time there were plenty of goals still left in the game and that proved to be the case.
“We had some young lads on the pitch who won’t have experienced anything like that before. It was an eye-opener for them, so they got some experience.
“Cup football can happen like that. We had a similar game a few years ago against Skelmersdale – we were 4-1 up and drew 4-4, and it went to a replay.
“It can happen. There were no signs it was going to happen in the two previous games we’ve played (against Stratford and Biggleswade) but it’s a good learning curve for people.
“It shows you have to be adaptable in football to win things.
“We had enough to get back into it but you would be disappointed (not to win when) you’re two goals up on two separate occasions in the tie.
“But you have to praise their resilience. It was impressive and they gave us a proper game of football.”
Ramsbottom, who are sixth in their division, reached the third round thanks to wins over Workington and Weymouth – both coming via replays.
“It’s unbelievable,” Ramsbottom boss Chris Willcock said.
“5-4 up after coming back twice from two goals down, you’re thinking, ‘Is it our night?’.
“But full credit to them, they wanted to stay in the competition and we’re looking forward to the replay.
“Whoever didn’t come tonight missed an absolute cracker.”
The eventual winners will host London opposition in the quarter-finals: Carshalton Athletic or Barnet.
They too must replay on Tuesday at Barnet after a 3-3 draw.
Fylde’s replay means their National League home fixture against Havant and Waterlooville, scheduled for next Tuesday, must now by rearranged.
Fylde have two league games to reschedule because their visit to leaders Leyton Orient was set for Trophy quarter-final day, February 23.
Orient are already through to the last eight, in which they will visit Brackley Town.