AFC FYLDE 2 NORTH FERRIBY UTD 3: Full report and reaction

Sam Finley fires home for Fylde  Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
Sam Finley fires home for Fylde Picture: STEVE MCLELLAN
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North Ferriby took the lead shortly before the break through Nathan Hotte and Liam King doubled the advantage. Dion Charles pulled one back but striker Tom Denton restored the two-goal cushion.

Sam Finley’s wonder-goal in the dying moments gave the Coasters hope but Ferriby held on, despite Matty Hughes seeing a goal disallowed in the last minute.

Fylde manager Dave Challinor made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Stalybridge Celtic last Tuesday, with Richie Baker replacing Bohan Dixon and Stephen Crainey in for the injured Adam Sumner.

Fylde had a glorious chance to open the scoring on 10 minutes, when James Hardy raced clear but could only poke his shot straight at the keeper from six yards.

Ferriby dangerman Denton fashioned his first opening when he met Danny Clarke’s cross from the right, but his header was comfortably saved by Ben Hinchliffe. Denton went closer still with his next effort, scooping a shot narrowly over.

Midway through the first half, Sam Finley broke into the box for Fylde but his left-footed shot was tame.

Danny Rowe provided the home fans with a moment of magic as he skipped past two challenges of the left before squaring for Hardy, who inexplicably fired over from almost point-blank range.

The visitors broke the deadlock perhaps against the run of play four minutes before the break, when Denton flicked on for Hotte to hook the ball over the line via the underside of the barr.

Ferriby doubled their lead within two minutes as substitute Wayne Brooksby delivered from the left and Liam King glanced a header into the bottom corner. Just when it looked like Fylde would go in two down at the interval, Charles reduced the arears in stoppage time when he burst through the defence and slid the ball past Adam Nicklin.

After a quiet opening to the second half, Rowe should have levelled when the ball fell kindly for him. Instead of shooting first time, the frontman ran into trouble and his eventual shot was saved.

Fylde were immediately punished for their wastefulness on 55 minutes as Ferriby extended their advantage. Josh Wilde crossed from the left and Denton got a yard on Tom Hannigan to nod home.

Fantastic interplay around the Ferriby box saw Baker clean through but his touch took him wide. His cut-back found Rowe, whose low strike was blocked on the line by Danny Hone.

Denton was a constant thorn in the side of the Fylde backline and again went close with 15 minutes to play, heading inches wide of the far post.

The hosts dragged themselves back into the contest with just eight minutes to play, when Finley smashed the ball home from 25 yards for his second goal of the week.

Rowe almost completed the comeback a minute later but his looping header landed on the roof of the net.

Substitute Danny Lloyd also tried his luck, racing down the left before shooting narrowly wide of the near post.

Fylde had the ball in the net with a minute to go, when Matty Hughes tapped home Caspar Hughes’ strike at the back post. However, the home supporter’s celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.

Challinor said: “It’s never nice to lose when you don’t get what you deserve and that was the case today.

“We’ve missed the two best chances of the game and on both occasions conceded within two minutes.

“We’ve got to track the runners from midfield and stop the balls going into the box and we didn’t do that.”

But Challinor bemoaned the disallowed goal, saying: “It was a poor decision. We’ve shown the referee the footage and Hughesy is onside when the keeper saves it. It’s ultimately cost us the game.

“We’ve been done on these sort of decisions probably five times in the last 18 months. It also happened against Solihull with Josh Wilson’s disallowed goal last year, and it’s happened against FC United and Boston.

“It’s a tough one to swallow but we need to get over it and look ahead to Monday.”

A home victory over Bradford Park Avenue in tonight’s rearranged fixture would restore Fylde to second place and be a massive boost in their bid to secure a play-off spot.

North Ferriby are now the only team who can deny Solihull Moors the title, though the leaders need two points at most to secure top spot.


AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, C. Hughes, Hannigan, Langley, Crainey (Lloyd 68), Barnes (Dixon 80), Baker, Finley, Charles, Hardy (M Hughes68), Rowe.

North Ferriby: Nicklin, Middleton, Wilde, King, Palmer, Hone, Clarke, Fry, Denton, Hotte, Bateson (Brooksby31).