Boreham Wood 1 AFC Fylde 1: Disappointment for Coasters as Neill Byrne strike is cancelled out

Neill Byrne equalises for AFC Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Neill Byrne equalises for AFC Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

AFC Fylde left Hertfordshire disappointed after the Wood rescued a point.

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Neill Byrne's second goal of the season put the Coasters in the driving seat, though they paid the price for not adding a second goal as Jamal Fyfield equalised in the second half.
The Coasters made two changes to the team that had beaten Maidenhead on Tuesday , with midfielders Andy Bond and Dan Bradley returning to the side at the expense of Ash Hemmings and Alex Reid.
Some nice early passing by Fylde saw Tom Crawford heavily involved, while Bradley and Nick Haughton provided options out wide.
Boreham Wood had the first sight of goal as a long ball deceived Byrne and Bradley Ash got goal-side but hit shot was deflected narrowly wide for a corner, from which the towering Fyfield headed just wide.
The Coasters started to find their rhythm 15 minutes in, with Crawford and Haughton combining skilfully and the latter's stinging effort was just turned over by Ryan Huddart.
Fylde opened the scoring from the resulting corner in the 17th minutes. Crawford dragged a shot across the face of goal from the edge of the box, and Byrne latched on to it to scored from close range.
Wood looked to respond instantly, with Ash the most likely to make things happen, though Fylde continued to find space as Haughton tried his luck from distance.
Fylde keeper Jay Lynch was forced into action to palm away a dipping 20-yard shot by Kerian Murtargh.
However, the Coasters remained in the driving seat, with Danny Rowe close to doubling the lead but his effort from a short corner routine went just the wrong side of the a post.
The hosts' Justin Shaibu seized on a quickly-taken free-kick but his effort was superbly blocked by Byrne, whose solidly defending alongside Jordan Tunnicliffe ensured Fylde held their lead until half-time.
The Coasters had a penalty shout early in the second half as Haughton weaved his way into the box and went down but referee Sam Purkiss waved play on.
Great work by Bradley gave Rowe a sight of goal and he curled a shot narrowly wide before Arlen Birch's cross-shot glanced the post after a fine team move.
But when Rowe was caught in possession, Shaibu was played through on goal and adjudged to have been illegally brought down by Ryan Croasdale.
The 57th-minute penalty was driven low and hard to the left by Ash but Lynch guessed right to palm away brilliantly. However, the onrushing Fyfield was first to react to the rebound and restored parity for Wood.
The Coasters looked a little shaken and tempers flared, though Crawford provided much-needed composure in the middle.
A long ball found Bond on the edge of the area and his wonderful touch played in Haughton, who poked an effort which almost caught out Huddart.
Reid and Serhat Tasdemir were introduced and Rowe replaced as Fylde chased a winner but the hosts dealt with their threat effectively.
With five minutes to go, a poor touch from Tunnicliffe in the box almost gave Shaibu the chance of a winner but his effort was blocked at the expense of a corner.
In four minutes of added time, Haughton lashed wide from 25 yards and Fylde had to settle for a point.
Disappointed Fylde manager Dave Challinor said: “A one-goal lead is precarious at the best of times, a two-goal lead can be because goals change games.”
“A points can be decent when you come away from home, and if you draw all your away games and win your home games you would be champions – but it’s not as easy as that.”
“We’re in a situation now where we’re playing catch-up. We needed to get three points today, but we didn’t and now it’s a big ask.
“With ten games to go we probably need to win eight of them, which we’re capable of doing but it does make things harder.”
Fylde slip a place to fifth in the National League but would move back above Salford City with victory over Hartlepool at Mill Farm on Tuesday. Challinor's side remain six points off top spot, now held by Leyton Orient after they defeated former leaders Wrexham.

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Birch, Francis-Angol, Byrne, Tunnicliffe, Croasdale, Crawford, Bond (Reid 74), Bradley (Philliskirk 88) Haughton, Rowe (Tasdemir 83); subs not used: Hemmings, Odusina.
Wood: Huddart, Ilesanmi, Ricketts, Stephens, Champion, Murtargh, Ash, Fyfield, Kanu, Shields (Shakes 70), Shaibu (Thomas 90); subs not used: Woodards, Parry, Legg,
Attendance: 493