AFC Fylde 0 Sutton United 0: Coasters hold out after straight red for Jordan Williams
AFC Fylde’s Jordan Williams saw red early in the second half as the Coasters and Sutton United settled for a point apiece in a midweek stalemate.
The best chances of the game fell the way of the Coasters, most notably a Mark Yeates curler which struck the underside of the bar just six minutes in before the ball was hacked away.
Club captain Lewis Montrose returned to the starting line-up for Fylde, who also welcomed back full-back Andy Taylor after injury.
It was a fairly scrappy game, with neither side able to get the ball down in wet and windy conditions, Fylde keeper Sam Hornby having to improvise a smart save after a gust of wind almost caught him out as a cross came over.
The London club grew into the game, with David Ajiboye looking lively, though it was Fylde who almost broke the deadlock through Ryan Croasdale.
Montrose found Danny Rowe, who in turn slipped Croasdale in but the box-to-box midfielder’s low effort crept agonisingly wide.
In a half of few chances, it felt like the perfect opportunity for the Coasters to get their noses ahead in a game between two sides hovering just above the National League drop zone.
The Coasters started the second half quickly and almost found themselves ahead within a minute.
Yeates' clever ball picked out Williams, who beat his man in the box to go clean through on goal only to be denied from close-range by onrushing keeper Nik Tzanev.
Almost immediately afterwards, Fylde right-back Luke Burke found himself in space in the box but couldn’t quite steer his effort past Tzanev for what would have been his first Coasters goal.
Fylde then did have the ball in the net but an offside flag on the far side denied Williams as he headed home a pinpoint Yeates cross.
Williams' next involvement in the game on 53 minutes was to be his last.
In a 50-50 competition with Sutton full-back Ben Wyatt, the forward's full-blooded challenge seemed honest enough in intention but the U’s player dropped to the floor and his team-mates demanded action.
A straight red card followed and the 10 men switched to a more compact line-up but still threatened, despite Sutton taking the upper hand.
Dan Bradley’s brilliant cross found Rowe in space in the box but he guided his header just wide.
Despite seeing more of the ball, the best Sutton could manage was Will Randall’s effort from distance as the game drew to its conclusion.
The draw leaves Fylde a point above Sutton and two above the drop zone, though with a game in hand on all the teams below them.
Fylde: Hornby, Burke, Whitmore, Byrne, Taylor (Jameson 73), Montrose, Croasdale, Bradley, Yeates (Kosylo 84), Williams, Rowe; subs not used: Lavercombe, Philliskirk, Haughton
Sutton: Tzanev, John, Barden, Beautyman, Davis, Goodliffe, Randall-Hurren, Ajiboye (Reid 84), Wright (Dundas 90), Wyatt, Jarvis (Bugiel 69); subs not used: Collins, Milsom
Referee: Joe Hull, Attendance: 1,054