AFC Fylde 0 Harrogate Town 0: Coasters steady the ship

Matty Kosylo goes close for Fylde against Harrogate  Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Matty Kosylo goes close for Fylde against Harrogate Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN

Fylde toiled to a bank holiday stalemate, steadying the ship after back-to-back 4-1 defeats in the National League.

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The Coasters were close to forcing an opening goal from a corner, when Mark Yeates’ cross to the edge of the area landed at the feet of the unmarked Danny Rowe but his half-volley was blocked before Lewis Montrose blazed over.The close-fought encounter nearly swung Harrogate’s way on 20 minutes, when former Coasters forward Jack Muldoon found space in the box and struck a post with his low effort.

Even so, Fylde looked the more comfortable side and on the half-hour James Craigen and Matty Kosylo combined to give Rowe another shooting chance.

Again his effort was blocked but the ball fell for Kosylo five yards out only for onrushing keeper James Belshaw to deny him from point-bank range.

Despite being unable to break the deadlock in the first half, the Coasters were no doubt encouraged by the space they created, Craigen in particular finding himself in great positions.

Kyle Jameson, making his full debut in place of Alex Whitmore, went close to opening his account for Fylde, improvising a back header from Scott Duxbury’s cross which went just wide.

However, the visitors had the greater intensity after the interval, Alex Bradley driving on from midfield to force James Montgomery into a fine double-handed stop.

At the other end, Duxbury’s cross found Ryan Croasdale unmarked in the box but he headed wide.

Fylde had chances from set-pieces, with Rowe striking into the wall from 30 yards before Yeates’ corner was palmed away by Belshaw from underneath his crossbar.

Latest signing Elton Ngwatala came on for Nick Haughton in midfield but it was Harrogate who had the ball in the back of the net.

Experienced striker John Stead dispossessed Jameson, who slotted past Montgomery one on one.

But Harrogate’s celebrations were halted when the referee consulted an assistant and disallowed the goal for handball by Stead.

Town kept their tails up and were denied once again by the woodwork as Warren Burrell’s acrobatic overhead kick bounced back off the bar.

Rowe’s free-kick moments later had Belshaw scrambling across his line but the effort was always veering wide.

Harrogate went back on the attack and ramped the pressure up with corner after corner, asking plenty of questions.

Muldoon latched on to one ball into the box but his low effort was stopped excellently by Montgomery.

One final attack saw Connor Hall head wide from Brendan Kiernan’s corner and Fylde had a much-needed point which left them 14th in the National League.

Manager Dave Challinor said: “In the first half we created chances, but when you’re not as free-flowing there’s always a tendency to snatch at chances.

“Kossy and Rowey both had chances where, if they’re scoring goals, they’d scored those seven times out of 10.

“There were good spells but the bigger concern was that in the second half we couldn’t play in the way the game dictated.”

Fylde: Montgomery, Craigen, Duxbury, Byrne, Jameson, Montrose, Croasdale, Yeates (Williams 76), Kosylo (Willougby 80), Haughton (Ngwatala 68), Rowe; subs not used: Lavercolme, Whitmore.

Harrogate: Belshaw, Burrell, Smith, Emmett, Fallowfield, Hall, Falkingham, Bradley (Brown 80), Beck (Stead 62), Muldoon, Kiernan; subs not used: Smith, Leesley, Cracknell.

Referee: Joseph Johnson

Attendance: 1,317