Daniels' moment of magic earns Coasters a replay

AFC Fylde 1

Monday, 12th December 2016, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 1:36 pm
Brendon Daniels equalised for AFC Fylde PICTURE: STEVE MCLELLAN

Brackley opened the scoring against the run of play when Glenn Walker diverted home in the first half, before Brendon Daniels netted a superb free-kick to set up a replay.

Coasters boss Dave Challinor shuffled his pack ahead of the game with Matty Hughes, Richie Baker and Matt Blinkhorn handed rare starts while Caspar Hughes returned from injury.

Blinkhorn had the first clear of the opportunity of the game inside the opening five minutes.

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The ball fell kindly at his feet, 10 yards from goal, but his deflected strike was cleared off the line.

The Coasters were on top in the early stages and Bohan Dixon was presented with a great chance when he met Caspar Hughes’ deep cross, but his header back across goal was tame and comfortable for goalkeeper Laurie Walker.

Caspar Hughes was causing havoc and was inches from opening the scoring when his ferocious strike from 25 yards rattled the crossbar.

Blinkhorn almost rounded off a fine Fylde move shortly after the 20 minute mark but his effort from the edge of the box was straight into the arms of Walker.

However, against the run of the play, the visitors drew first blood.

Lee Cox’s snapshot from the edge of the area was heading wide until Walker diverted the ball over the line at the back post.

Fylde looked to hit back when Baker fired a free-kick from the angle at goal but James Armson got his head in the way to divert the danger.

The hosts almost finished the half on a high when Matty Hughes whipped in an inviting cross from the left; however Blinkhorn scuffed a weak strike at goal.

After a slow start to the second half, the Coasters came to life with an equaliser just seven minutes after the restart.

Dixon was tripped on the edge of the penalty area, and with usual set-piece specialist Danny Rowe on the bench, Daniels stepped up and smashed the ball into the bottom corner.

The winger almost doubled his tally moments later when Blinkhorn laid off the ball but his curling left-footed strike was well over the bar.

Substitute Matt Lowe had Brackley’s first meaningful attempt after the break, dragging a left-footed strike narrowly wide of the post.

Dixon had a similar effort at the other end seconds later and the outcome was the same.

Dixon looked a real threat as Fylde desperately searched for the winner that would see them avoid a replay, firing a vicious attempt into the goalkeeper’s clutches.

Challinor introduced Dan Bradley and James Hardy to add some attacking impetus with 10minutes to play, but it was Brackley who had the next sight of goal, Rhys Taylor having to pull off a fantastic save to deny Walker.

However, the visitors really should have regained the lead and manager Kevin Wilkin was left with his head in his hands as substitute David Moyo inexcusably fired wide with an open goal gaping.

Taylor had to be in fine form again in added time when he acrobatically turned Armson’s strike over the top.

The Coasters almost nicked it at the last when Daniels raced down the left but his dangerous cross was just out of the reach of the arriving Bradley.