AFC Fylde 2 – 1 Harrogate Town

A much changed,injury hit, Town, were unlucky to leave the new, Mill Farm Stadium, empty handed, after a battling performance against leaders, AFC Fylde.

The Coasters made the early running with both James Hardy and Bohun Dixon having shots deflected for corners.

It didn’t take Town long to hit their stride,with acting captain, Joe Colbeck finding Jordan Robertson on the right and his cross was deflected by Dom Collins for the top corner, only for Rhys Taylor to parry round the post.

Next, a Joe Leesley centre found Colbeck whose shot rebounded to Andy Gascoigne but he fired over from twenty yards.

Fylde’s incisive approach work was floundering against Town’s rearguard in which Tom Platt and Luke Shiels were dominant.

Indeed, prolific scorer, Danny Rowe was restricted to two attempts,the first a free kick into the wall and the second, a shot well blocked by Shiels.

Marcus Day spurned a chance to score when sent clear by Ben Parker’s through ball,but Dom Collins got back quickly to clear the danger.

Day then combined with Leesley to set up Andi Thanoj but his effort from twentyfive yards sailed well over the .

Town kept up the pressure and came agonisingly close when Leesley slid in to turn Colbeck’s low cross just wide.

However, a foul on Jordan Robertson just before the break enabled Leesley to swing the free kick to the far post where Platt’s header across goal evaded Taylor and went in off the far post.

Rowe shot well wide and the Town defence blocked two attempts as Fylde hit back after the interval.
Unfortunately for Town, disaster struck after sixtytwo minutes.

There seemed little danger as Sam Finley cut in from the right and hit a weak shot at Peter Crook,but the ball squirmed from his grasp and trickled over the line for the equaliser.

Worse was to follow four minutes later as Fylde,”Man of the Match”, James Hardy collected Dixon’s pass and rounded Crook to shoot into the empty net and give the Coasters the lead.

Chib Chilaka and Reece Webb-Foster joined the fight replacing Robertson and Leesley as Town tried to redress the balance.

Thanoj sent Colbeck down the right but his low cross just evaded Gascoigne at the far post.

Next, Chilaka turned provider for Colbeck, but once again his inviting centre across goal found no takers.

Fylde brought on ex Town favourite, Brendon Daniels, but it was fellow sub Matt Blinkhorn, who almost stretched Fylde’s lead when he swooped low to head a Daniels cross wide of the upright.

This time Town couldn’t snatch a late goal to salvage a point,so it’s on to Tuesday evening at the CNG Stadium,where we hope for better luck against, Kidderminster Harriers.

Town
1 Crook, 2 Colbeck (c),3 Turner 4 Platt, 5 Shiels, 6 Parker,7 Thanoj, 8 Gascoigne, 9 Day (Brooksby 71), 10 Robertson (Chilaka 63),11 Leesley (Webb-Foster 83).
Unused subs,12 Ellis,17 Stewart. Booking Colbeck.
Scorer Platt 45, Att.1935
By John Harrison.

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