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Match Report

 

Posted Sat 18 Mar 17 at 16:45 PM

Report: Dramatic draw at Fylde

A dramatic second half saw Harriers pick up a 2-2 draw at AFC Fylde after leading 2-0 on an eventful afternoon in which the visitors finished with nine men.

Rotten conditions greeted the two sides at Mill Farm but, despite a driving drizzle and some feisty wind, they both quickly set about playing some nice football.

As far as chances go, though, Harriers quickly racked up a bag-full and, by the time they did take the lead it could have been by far a greater margin.

As early as five minutes, Keith Lowe nodded a header wide off a James McQuilkin free-kick, before Sam Austin raced on to an angled ball into the area before driving a shot at Rhys Taylor that was well saved.

We edged past the midway point of the half as Harriers continued to create, another Lowe header keeping Taylor plenty busy as he needed an expert save to stop the ball finding the net, before Ngwatala went within inches to the opener with a distance drive.

The reds, or purples on the day, did take that lead with 25 minutes gone and it was thanks to a composed piece of finishing from Ryan Croasdale, his low finish finding the bottom corner as a crowd of bodies looked to deal with a lose ball.

Fylde had their first chance of the day soon after as Brendon Daniels nodded wide having been placed to do much better – it was a miss he would rue as his team conceded a second to a rampaging Harriers side up at the other end.

It was another finely-timed ball into the area, delivered by McQuilkin, that Nti managed to force into the direction of Lowe who smashed the ball into the back of the net, making no mistake whatsoever.

The home side made the brighter of the starts to the second half and, with efforts from Bond and Collins they forced Hornby into a brace of routine saves.

Harriers worked relentlessly to stem the Flyde tide during the second half but still looked a threat on the break; only an offside flag – and a marginal one at that – stopped Waite getting on the end of a fine through ball as he looked to counter.

With a little over a quarter of an hour left, one of those counters almost handed Harriers a third – Francis-Angol and company chased down defender Hughes, leaving the Fylde man helpless as he stuck out a leg and almost diverted past his own goalkeeper.

With less than ten minutes to go, Fylde got themselves a life line and a way back into the game. On a sodden surface, Lowe’s pass lacked a little pace and there waiting to pounce was Bradley who raced into the area and calmly finished past Hornby.

Harriers looked to regroup but there was to be more drama that wasn’t in their favour – sub Carter given his marching orders for an adjudged late foul on Finley.

All done? No sir – Harriers, in the end, had to earn their win with nine men. As we eased into injury time, both teams had a man sent off as Waite was given his marching orders for the visitors as Finley was dismissed for Fylde as both sets of players clashes.

Would that be enough? Sadly not – with one of the last moments of the game, Fylde snatched an equaliser as a rising ball into the area was met by a looping header from Blinkhorn that sailed into the top corner, inches beyond the grasp of Hornby.

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