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Coasters’ star man Sam praises deadly Danny

AFC Fylde's Sam Finley impressed against Wigan Athletic   Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde's Sam Finley impressed against Wigan Athletic Picture: Steve McLellan
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He was AFC Fylde’s star man but Sam Finley was happy to let Danny Rowe clinch the headlines once again in Friday’s FA Cup second round draw with Wigan Athletic.

Will Grigg’s header had put Wigan ahead just before the break but a resurgent Fylde bounced back in the second half to punish the Latics for wasting their chances.

Finley was fouled by Nathan Byrne in the box in the 69th minute just as he was about to pull the trigger, allowing Rowe to score from the spot and set up a replay with both teams in the hat for the third round draw tonight.

Finley said: “Jonny Smith has done brilliantly, gone on an individual run, beat a number of players; then it has come to me and my eyes have lit up.

“I thought ‘I’m going to bury this’ but then I saw him (Byrne) get there; I knew he was quite sharp so I thought ‘I’m going to play for the pen.’

“I knew he was going to dive in so I got to the ball first and he stood on my foot.

“It was a blatant penalty and I 99 per cent knew Rowey was going to bag it so I let him take the glory as always.”

Finley praised the role of substitute Matty Blinkhorn for his role in the comeback as the National League side shocked Paul Cook’s third tier side.

And Finley says being in the third round hat for the first time is a feather in the cap for the club as they prepare for a trip to Wigan on December 12; provided the replay is not selected for TV coverage.

He said: “It was brilliant for everyone at the club.

“It was a great shift, we dug in deep, gave them too much respect in the first half but they will be a Championship club next year.

“They are top of League One; I think they will win that league and they have very good players.

“Second half, the gaffer came in and said ‘you have got to turn it into a cup tie.’

“We were unfortunate to concede that goal just before half-time but I thought, in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, we were brilliant.

“I thought Blinks made a massive difference. He gave the doubt in the defenders minds whether to go up and challenge and he helped hold the ball up well which we struggled with in the first half.

“But with Rowey and Blinks up there it made a massive difference.

“We were up there winning second balls, we had them penned in and I thought the goal was always going to come.

“When we got the goal it was just backs-to-the-wall stuff. We knew they would come and try and break us down but we were solid defensively.”