AFC Fylde 2 Yeovil 2: Coasters let points slip as Glovers hit back with late double
AFC Fylde had to make do with a point against second-placed Yeovil after their two-goal lead was cancelled out by the visitors’ quickfire double late on.
Jim Bentley saw his Coasters side start the stronger and they deserved their half-time lead.
A corner produced the first opportunity for full-back Luke Burke in plenty of space on the edge of the box but his low, first-time effort was blocked by a red shirt and the chance disappeared.
Yeovil showed flashes of why they are the closest challengers to Fylde’s Boxing Day opponents Barrow as Charlie Lee’s effort from distance forced SamHornby into a smart save down to his left.
The Coasters should have opened their account from another corner as Mark Yeates’ outswinger found Ryan Croasdale eight yards from goal but he headed wide under little pressure.
Yeates himself then had the chance to open the scoring as a cross by Matty Kosylo, who replaced the suspended Jordan Williams, fell kindly to him in the box. However, Yeovil’s veteran keeper Stuart Nelson was on hand to make a fine save.
Yeovil grew into the game and threatened through the dangerous Rhys Murphy until Fylde took the lead 10 minutes before half-time.
A Glovers corner was headed clear by Bradley, who spearheaded a Coasters counter-attack and combined well with Kosylo.
The ball was played back to Bradley, who drilled a cross across the face of goal and saw Yeovil defender Gabriel Osho divert it into his own net.
The Glovers started the second half with a renewed sense of urgency, with Myles Hippolyte and Chris Dagnall both going close within 10 minutes of the restart.
They had a gilt-edged chance when a cross from the left was met on the volley by dangerman Murphy but Hornby made a superb fingertip save to deny him a 16th league goal of the season.
The weathering of the storm seemed complete when the Coasters doubled their lead in the 72nd minute, when another counter-attack saw Danny Rowe feed Bradley inside the Glovers box.
This time Bradley aimed for goal and powered a low, right-footed effort into the net for his fourth of the season.
Yeovil had not given up hope and halved the deficit seven minutes later, when Osho’s fantastic delivery picked out Duffus in the box.
He rose highest and powered a brilliant header into the floor and beyond Hornby, giving Yeovil a lifeline.
And within 60 seconds Yeovil had an equaliser, keeper Hornby having to hold up his hands to his team-mates.
The Bradford City loanee’s miskick played the ball straight to Duffus 10 yards from goal and he composed himself before slotting into the corner and levelling the game.
The Coasters introduced Kurt Willoughby from the bench, making his first appearance in three months following hernia surgery, and the striker very nearly had the final say.
A long ball caused chaos in the Yeovil back line and Willoughby was ready to pounce but Nelson rushed off of his line to clear the danger.
Neither team did enough to win it in the closing stages and the Coasters were made to rue two dropped points.
Two points from three league games, allied to wins on Saturday for Aldershot and Sutton, have seen Fylde slip two spots to 20th, just one place above the bottom four before their visit to leaders Barrow.
Fylde: Hornby, Burke, Whitmore, Byrne, Taylor, Croasdale (Willoughby 88), Philliskirk, Bradley, Yeates (Craigen 69), Kosylo (Jameson 81), Rowe; subs not used: Lavercombe. Haughton
Yeovil: Nelson, Skendi, Wilkinson, Dickinson, Osho, Lee (Worthington 72), Hippolyte (Tilley 61), D’Ath (Collins 68), Dagnall, Duffus, Murphy; subs not used: Hutton, Williams
Referee: Elliot Swallow; Attendance: 1,427