Match report: AFC Fylde 1 Solihull Moors 1
AFC Fylde's play-off bid will go down to the last day after a 1-1 draw against Solihull Moors.
The Coasters cancelled out Omari Sterling’s opener when Andy Bond headed home but could not find a winning goal and may now need a result at Wrexham to guarantee a place in the end-of-season lottery.
Manager Dave Challinor made two changes from the side beaten at Maidstone with Jake Lawlor in for Simon Grand and Henry Jones replacing James Hardy.
Despite a positive start in the glorious sunshine at Mill Farm, the Coasters’ mood was soon dampened when Solihull took an early lead.
A quick free-kick found Sterling completely unmarked on the edge of the area, allowing the front man to let the ball run before lashing a strike inside the near post.
The Moors forward was looking dangerous early on and wasn’t far away from finding the top corner with a vicious curling effort from 15 yards.
Solihull continued to impress and Fylde stopper Jay Lynch had to be on his toes to palm away a long-range strike from George Carline.
The Coasters’ keeper pulled off an even better save moments later to keep out Darren Carter’s powerful free-kick.
Midfielder Jones, back in the team after an absence, hit a speculative effort over the bar as the hosts began to impose themselves.
Lynch was performing heroics between the sticks, with a double save once again keeping the visitors at bay.
Jermaine Hylton was sent clean through only to be thwarted by the legs of Lynch, who was quickly off his line before diverting Sterling’s sidefooted rebound to safety.
Challinor swapped it around at the break, bringing Hardy on in place of Jones in an attempt to get the ball down after 45 minutes of head tennis between the two sides.
The switch made an immediate impact, with the Coasters stamping their authority and grabbing an equaliser.
Jonny Smith whipped in a delightful cross from the left and Bond was on hand to nod into the roof of the net.
The hosts almost completed a quickfire comeback seconds later when Hardy slipped the ball through to Bond who saw his first-time strike palmed away by Max O’Leary, while Rowe’s follow-up was blocked on the line by the Solihull stopper.
Moors’ striker Hylton would have restored their lead after cutting inside Jordan Tunnicliffe had it not been for a fantastic saving challenge from Lawlor.
Fylde were well on top as the half progressed and only a desperate block on the line prevented Smith from putting Fylde ahead when he found himself in acres of space in the Moors’ box.
Rowe had a strike from 20 yards palmed around the post as the home pressure really started to build.
He went closer still with 15 minutes to play when he cut onto his left inside the area before seeing a shot thumped off the line by Liam Daly.
Both sides wanted a winner as both Daly and Fylde sub Grand headed wide at opposite ends with time running out.
Smith could have won it at the death when he raced down the right, nipped between two challenges and smashed a shot straight down the throat of O’Leary.
AFC Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Tunnicliffe, Lawlor (Grand 79), Francis-Angol, Montrose, Bond, Jones (Hardy 46), Muldoon, Smith, Rowe. Subs not used: Taylor, Tasdemir, Blinkhorn.
Solihull Moors: O’Leary, Williams, Daly, Kelleher, Storer, Carter, Green, Carline (Osborne 68), Sterling (Lait 90), Thomas, Hylton (Reid 61). Subs not used: Coyle, Martinez.
Referee: Peter Gibbons.