Ashton United 2 AFC Fylde 2

Jack Dorney
Jack Dorney

Fylde were denied a first away win of the season by an 87th-minute equaliser at Hurst Cross last night.

The visitors had overturned a half-time deficit to lead through Jack Dorney’s fourth goal in two matches and a first for the club’s record scorer Richie Allen following his return from Fleetwood Town on loan.

However, it was a poor performance by Fylde’s standards in the first half as they struggled to gain momentum and could only create a handful of chances against the Evo-Stik Premier’s third-placed club, who won at Kellamergh Park in the opening week of the season.

Both Matty Kosylo and Mark Peers had early chances for the Ashton-under-Lyne side before James Dean had Fylde’s first opportunity after 12 minutes. However, the striker headed inches wide following silky skills by Brad Barnes and an excellent cross by Michael Barnes.

Three minutes later, Fylde’s best chance of the half fell to Joe Booth, whose point-blank effort was stopped on the line by keeper Terry Smith.

On 23 minutes, Allen cut inside and rounded two defenders but his shot was well watched by Smith.

The defining point of the half came four minutes later, when Fylde’s debutant centre-half Michael Taylor, signed on loan from Chester City, was deemed to have shoved striker Ben Deegan to the ground and the referee awarded the penalty which Peers converted.

Fylde were glad to be just one goal down at half-time after Chris Lynch and Danny Caldecott both went perilously close to doubling the home side’s lead.

Fylde came out rejuvenated for the second half and equalised within 30 seconds as Dorney who found space to shoot from 12 yards.

The visitors had raised their game and Dean should have given them the lead on 52 minutes but failed to find the target from Brad Barnes’ deep cross.

Allen was unlucky not to score with a sublime volley on 57 minutes but he found the net just a minute later, blasting a beauty of a half-volley into the top corner from just outside the box.

Dean, Booth and Allen all had chances to make it 3-1 but the finishing touches were not there and Ashton began their late assault on the Fylde goal.

Chris Baguley sent two headed chances wide but Ashton got their just reward three minutes from time, when a shot from a corner rebounded off the bar and the loose ball fell to substitute Aaron Burns, who equalised from just five yards out.

Deep into stoppage time, Fylde keeper Ben Hinchliffe had to produce the save of the match to deny Tom Baker a winner.

Manager Dave Challinor was much happier with his mid-table side’s second-half display. He said: “To go behind from a very dubious penalty you take a knock, but to score right after half-time was a big boost for us.

“We played really well for 20 minutes or so and got ourselves into a match-winning position, but in the last 10 minutes there was just a little bit of a panic.”

Up next for the Coasters is Saturday’s FA Cup first qualifying round tie at home to Evo-Stik Division One North side Ramsbottom United (3pm).

CHRIS PARK

Fylde: Hinchliffe, Jarvis, Sumner, Hughes, Taylor, B. Barnes (C), Booth, Dorney, Dean (Farrell 72), M. Barnes (McCarthy 72), Allen (Carden 88); Subs not used: Tennant, Doughty.