Barnet 2 AFC Fylde 1: Coasters' fine run ended by last-gasp strike

The Coasters fell to a late, late defeat at Barnet, where Danny Rowe’s free-kick looked enough to salvage a point.

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 7:46 am
Updated Sunday, 8th December 2019, 7:47 am
Danny Rowe's free-kick hits the net for the Fylde equaliser at Barnet Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

The Bees led 1-0 at half-time thanks to a fine Harry Taylor strike, then Rowe powered a free-kick beyond keeper Scott Loach on the hour.

But it was the Londoners who would have the final say as Simeon Akinola sent a crashing header in off of the bar in the third minute of stoppage-time minute to break Coasters' hearts and end their three-match winning run

It was the Bees who started the stronger, though David Tutonda couldn't quite reach Josh Walker's powerful cross.

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Fylde’s Jordan Williams, fresh from an FA Cup double in the capital at Kingstonian, looked the most likely to make something happen for Jim Bentley's side, controlling the ball in the box before forcing Loach into a low save.

Barnet continued to see plenty of the ball in dangerous areas but the referee wasn't interested in their penalty appeal when Tutonda went down.

The Coasters' patient play was almost rewarded when Dan Bradley rose highest at a corner but skewed his header wide.

This proved a costly miss as the hosts took the lead from the next attack, finding Taylor in space in the middle.

With three goals in the last four matches, Taylor had only one thing in mind and fired a fantastic shot inside Sam Hornby's right post, ending the keeper's hopes of a fourth straight clean sheet.

To their credit, Barnet came again with the same intensity and could have had a second before the break as Taylor danced into the area, though this time Scott Duxbury was on hand to make a good clearance.

The second half saw Fylde restrict Barnet to long ranged efforts and Hornby stopped efforts by Wes Fonguck and Jack Taylor comfortably.

Bentley wanted more from his side, replacing Bradley and Danny Philliskirk with Lewis Montrose and Nick Haughton as the hour-mark approached.

The change paid dividends almost immediately as Haughton’s quick feet saw him earn a free-kick little over 20 yards out, a perfect position to angle an effort at goal.

Rowe, who had last scored from a free-kick not four miles away at Wembley Stadium, eyed Loach and fired his right-footed effort with such venom that the keeper was left scrambling across his goal.

His efforts couldn't prevent Rowe finding the back of the net and the Coasters were level in a game they had been largely second-best in.

This sent a new lease of life through the Coasters side, who were close to adding a second when Haughton’s cross was nearly turned in by one of several waiting white shirts.

Barnet soon woke up, though, and looked the more likely to score a winner, though they couldn’t breach a resolute Coasters outfit led by captain Montrose.

Fylde soaked up pressure and looked to release Matty Kosylo or Williams but the corner count in Barnet's favour kept rising and ultimately proved critical.

An inswinging corner in injury-time found Akinola free in the box and the in-form forward's , powerful flew header off the bar to wrap up the points.

Fylde remain 18th in the National League but they are now only one point above the relegation zone, with Tuesday's home clash with fourth-bottom Sutton United now all the more important.

Fylde: Hornby, Duxbury, Byrne, Whitmore, Burke, Croasdale, Philliskirk (Haughton 58), Bradley (Montrose 58), Yeates, Williams, Rowe (Kosylo 85); subs not used: Lavercombe, Jameson

Barnet: Loach, Alexander, Johnson, Reynolds, Dunne, JTaylor, Akinola, H.Taylor, Fonguck (Adams 90), Walker (Vilhete 85), Tutonda (Sparkes 78); subs not used: Azaze, Vasilou

Referee: Savvas Yianni

Attendance: 661