Luck of the draw for Coasters

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Nantwich Town 1 AFC Fylde 1

AFC Fylde came away from The Weaver Stadium with a well earned point but Fylde boss Dave Challinor came away believing that his side were lucky to claim even that.

Michael Barnes scored just after the hour when his cross beat everyone in the box to find its way into the back of the net but that was cancelled out within minutes when Arron Burns lobbed Ben Hinchliffe from all of 35 yards seeing him off his line and taking a chance with his unfavoured right foot.

Challinor named an unchanged side for the fourth consecutive match after Harry Winter came through a late fitness test before the game but The Coasters found their hosts to be very capable opposition.

Danny Lloyd and then Matty Blinkhorn went close early on for the Coasters

Nantwich then had a good spell where Mark Jones scuffed a shot wide from 10 yards before Burns fired straight at Hinchliffe from 35 yards a minute later.

The best chance of the half fell to the home side on 26 minutes, Burns was played through by former Coaster Adam Carden, burst past defender Matty Hughes and shot low at goal, but Hinchliffe’s right boot got a vital touch to turn it around the post.

Fylde then came close through Lloyd when he headed Barnes’ cross inches wide from close range even though it looked like he may have been tugged back by Alex Frost.

Lloyd still couldn’t find the target for Fylde ten minutes into the second half, firing over after a good break from Dave Hankin enabled Barnes to swing another cross into the mixer.

But, soon after Fylde did take the lead through Barnes’ cross which evaded everyone in the area and ended up in the bottom corner of Nantwich’s goal.

However, that lead lasted just three minutes as Burns capitalised on some poor Fylde defending, saw Hinchliffe off his line and lobbed the Fylde keeper from 35 yards on 65 minutes to level the tie.

There were only two more decent chances for either side during the remainder of the match and they both fell to The Coasters – Blinkhorn was unlucky not to get on the end of Barnes’ low cross into the six yard box at full stretch on 72 minutes before Joe Booth’s deep cross into the area was caught by Terry Smith just yards off his line with a minute remaining.

Despite claiming a point, Challinor felt that his side were lucky to come away from this game with anything, saying at full time: “I fancied us to come here and win tonight but to be honest I thought we were poor and we were lucky to get a point. In terms of performance I think that’s the worst we’ve been all season.

“I don’t know whether it’s where we’re back to the Tuesday night scenario or what but we made some poor decisions and weren’t really punished for it.

“We went a goal in front and we should be good enough to see the game out.”

The Coasters next game is their FA Cup First Qualifying Round tie away at fellow NPL Premier Division side Blyth Spartans.

AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Hankin, Sumner, M. Hughes (C), Denson, C. Hughes, Dorney (Booth 73), Winter (Russell 90), Blinkhorn, M. Barnes, Lloyd (Rainford 63); Subs not used: Hare, Charnley.