A controversial penalty deep into stoppage time robbed Harrogate Town of a valuable point in the clash with AFC Fylde at the CNG Stadium.
Town made one change from Boxing Day’s match with AFC Halifax, with Ryan Fallowfield being replaced by Kelvin Langmead.
Town made a bright start with Josh Falkingham hitting the post in the third minute,and a Dom Knowles chip across the box was headed just wide by Langmead.
On the half hour,the Coasters,Tom Brewitt ,conceded a free kick which earned him a caution,and Joe Leesley’s kick into the box hit Fylde skipper, Neill Byrne, on the leg and bounced off the upright for a corner, which Liam Kitching headed over the visitor’s bar.
A loose Town clearance let in Nick Haughton but his shot sailed harmlessly across goal,while soon afterwards,Luke Burke found the prolific Danny Rowe unmarked,but his shot came back off the underside of the crossbar.
As the break approached,Fylde began to dominate possession,closing down Town quickly and winning the aerial battles.
Within two minutes of the restart the visitors took the lead,when Zaine Francis-Angol was brought down fully thirty yards from goal. Rowe took the free kick and curled a brilliant shot,high inside James Belshaw’s left upright.
Town hit back strongly with both Warren Burrell and Liam Kitching heading Leesley crosses over the bar.
On sixtynine minutes,a long ball into Town’s area found Haughton who went to ground under Falkingham’s tackle and the referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.
Rowe drove the ball low to Belshaw’s right,but the keeper guessed correctly and pulled of a fine save.
George Thomson,Mark Beck and Aaron Williams were brought on to provide fresh impetus and Town began to push the Coasters back.
With only eight minutes left the pressure paid off.
A Leesley cross caused havoc in the Fylde defence and Beck was able to swivel and hit the ball into the roof of the net for the equaliser.
Town pushed forward for the winner,but deep into the four minutes added time they were caught on the break, when sub,Serhat Tasdemir,broke away and despite looking well offside, he was allowed to continue.
A last ditch tackle by Burrell appeared to knock the ball away for a corner,but Referee Peter Gibbons pointed to the spot and this time,Rowe made no mistake with the penalty,hammering the ball past Belshaw.
In the aftermath of the penalty,Kitching received two yellow cards for dissent and was given his marching orders.
Town,Belshaw,Burrell,Howe,Langmead,Kitching,Falkingham,Kerry,Woods(Thomson 67),Leesley,Knowles(Williams 70),Muldoon(Beck 57).
Unused subs,Cracknell,Emmett. Booked Leesley,Falkingham,Burrell. Sent off Kitching
Scorer Beck 82. Man of the Match, Belshaw. Att.1603
AFC Fylde,Lynch,Francis-Angol,Byrne,Bond,CroasdaleRowe,Philliskirk(Tunnicliffe 60),Gnahoua(Birch 90),Burke,Brewitt,Haughton(Tasdemir 88).
Unused subs,Green,Williams Booked Brewitt,Croasdale
Scorer,Rowe 47,90 pen.
Referee P Gibbons
By John Harrison.