Match report: AFC Fylde 3 Hartlepool United 3

Struggling Hartlepool scored twice in the dying moments to stun promotion-hopefuls Fylde and share the spoils in a thrilling Mill Farm encounter.

Sunday, 18th March 2018, 7:52 am
Updated Sunday, 18th March 2018, 8:15 am
Andy Bond blasts home the first of his two goals against Hartlepool
Andy Bond blasts home the first of his two goals against Hartlepool Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

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The Coasters had overturned a half-time deficit with Andy Bond's double and a James Hardy strike to lead 3-1 with just two minutes of the 90 remaining.But then long-range strikes from Jake Cassidy and Devante Rodney, who struck in the third minute of stoppage time, claimed a valuable point for the visitors in their relegation battle.Dave Challinor was forced into making one change to the side that scored seven again Aldershot Town seven days earlier, with midfielder Callum Chettle handed a rare start in place of the suspended Sam Finley.The hosts were given an early scare when Cassidy broke clear only for Zaine Francis-Angol, who heads off for international duty in Antigua this week, to make a fantastic saving challenge.Serhat Tasdemir got to the byeline at the other end but his ball across goal was cleared by Liam Donnelly. Coasters forward Jack Muldoon flashed an effort a foot wide of the far post during an open start to proceedings.Chances continued to flow and Conor Newton should have done better for Pools when he met Rhys Oates’ low cross but shot wide from six yardsMuldoon was proving a handful and his snapshot from the edge of the area was palmed around the post by former Watford stopper Scott Loach, who then got his body behind Danny Rowe’s powerful free-kick. Visiting striker Cassidy fluffed his linesafter Michael Woods has broken through, lifting his effort over the bar from 12 yards.Louis Laing almost gifted the Coasters a lead in bizarre style when his attempted clearance rebounded off Adams towards his own goal but Loach got down to clear. And it was to be an own goal which broke the deadlock five mintues before half-time. Adams sent a hopeful ball into the box and Jordan Tunnicliffe’s wayward header drifted past a despairing Jay Lynch into the net.However, Fylde were level just a minute into the second half, when half-time substitute Jonny Smith crossed low from the left. Bond’s initial effort at the back post was blocked but the midfielder smashed the rebound into the roof of the net.Nine minutes later Bond grabbed his second, cutting inside from the left before curling a sensational strike into the top right corner.A quick break from the home side saw Muldoon race away and square the ball to Smith, who tested Loach with a low effort.The young winger thought he had extended the lead with 20 minutes to go. tapping home after Rowe’s powerful free-kick had been blocked only for a referee's assistant to cut short his celebrations.Fylde were coasting and added a third on 77 minutes, when Muldoon burst down the right and put the ball on a plate for Hardy to stroke home.Cassidy ensured a nervy ending when he lashed in a stunning strike from 25 yards and the comeback was complete when substitute Rodney picked out the top corner from a similar distance to send the visitors into raptures.Fylde remain eighth but are now four points outside the play-off zone with eight matches left.Hartlepool still slip a spot despite their late fightback and are now just one place above the drop zone.Fylde: Lynch, Bond, Tunnicliffe, Grand, Francis-Angol, Montrose, Chettle (Smith 46), Hardy (Taylor 89), Muldoon, Tasdemir (Burke 46), Rowe; subs not used: Jones, Blinkhorn.Hartlepool: Loach, Featherstone, Laing, Woods (Munns 61), Magnay, Cassidy, Oates, Adams, Newton (Rodney 76), Donnelly, Hawkins; subs not used: Catterick, Owen, Hawkes.Referee: Daniel MiddletonAtt: 1,753