Fylde lose vital ground in promotion race

Lloyd - celebrates his goal
Lloyd - celebrates his goal
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AFC Fylde 1, Hyde Uhited 1

If Fylde miss out on promotion to the elite level of non-league football in the coming weeks, they may be left to rue the dropped points against bottom club Hyde.

Though not enough to save them from relegation, Hyde have take two points from the Coasters this season courtesy of two 1-1 draws.

Barrow’s 2-0 win at Worcester City lifted them back to the top of Vanarama Conference North, two points ahead of Fylde with a game in hand.

Coasters’ boss Dave Challinor named the same starting side that had blown Worcester away on Tuesday and the home side started brightly and should have taken the lead when a mix-up in the Hyde defence gifted Danny Rowe a chance which he volleyed wide from close range, though it looked easier to score.

But Hyde, beaten only once in five games since sharing the spoils with Fylde a month earlier, gained a foothold in the game and had chances of their own through Liam Brownhill and the impressive Connor Hughes, who shot wide from 20 yards after a strong run.

Fylde had another good chance when Danny Rowe fired a low free-kick at goal but Ed Wilczynski saved well.

The impressive keeper also thwarted Matty Blinkhorn on numerous occasions from dangerous crosses.

Josh Wilson had another solid game for the Coasters and he almost gave them the lead with a flicked header at the near post from a Richie Baker corner.

Fylde went close to breaking the deadlock on the brink of half-time, when Danny Lloyd hit a superb volley which swerved agonisingly wide of the top right corner.

Dion Charles was put through by Rowe but was caught in two minds as he tried to round the keeper and Wilczynski gathered the ball.

The Coasters took the lead just four minutes into the second half, when a scramble in the box ended with Lloyd stabbing home from six yards in front of the new Warton Stand.

Fylde had a great chance to double their lead when Lloyd went through but the keeper saved his powerful drive from 12 yards.

The Tigers responded with an equaliser on the hour mark, when Ryan Masterson was allowed to run into the penalty area and slot the ball home under keeper Ben Hinchliffe.

Fylde made changes but it was the visitors who had the next big chance as Holmes tried an audacious overhead kick, which looped wide.

Richie Allen blazed over for Fylde, who were unlucky not to win it when Lloyd’s volley was cleared off the line by Jack Pritchard.

Four minutes of stoppage time couldn’t produce a winner, and Hyde were prevented from celebrating a fine result by news of Colwyn Bay’s win at Harrogate which confirmed their relegation.

Fylde’s battle at the other end of the table continues at Gainsborough Trinity on Saturday.