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Harriers 3gifAFC Fylde 3

Date: 08-10-16 gif Venue: Aggborough gif att: 1970 gif away fans: 64
The two best teams in the league battle it out

gif Report: Phil Lench
This long awaited game between, arguably, the best two teams in this division ended with a share of the points at the end of one of the most exciting games seen at Aggborough since the time of the Gary Whild wannabees (yes, I'm joking ).  Brilliant, fast football and an excellent striker playing for AFC Fylde in Danny Rowe made this a classic afternoon for football.

With the game starting off under a blue October sky and a smattering of white fluffies there were a couple of changes to the Harriers side that won in the FA Cup at Lancaster last weekend.  Back in was Mani Dieseruvwe for Andre Brown and also in was Ashley Carter for Zaine Francis-Angol who was away on a secret mission in Antigua for his national team.  many thought, including myself, that Carter would struggle in the ZFA role but he actually did very well in the first half and was the source of most of our pressure.

Right from the get go you could see why Fylde are at the top with some excellent passing football that was a very good match for our own.  It was their early finishing that was letting them down though with strikes from Josh Langley and Sam Finley went well wide of the upright.

The opening goal came in the Harriers favour and against the run of play in the thirteenth minute when Carter once more easily beat the Fylde defender to the ball and flicked it deftly down for Arthur Gnahoua to race clear before sliding the ball past Rhys Taylor in the visitors goal.  Tyrell Waite was should have doubled the tally a minute after but Carter's cross went just over his head although if he had made the effort to jump he could have made better of the chance.

Fylde came back into the game and matched the Reds pass for pass but without really threatening Sam Hornby's goal too much.  That was until the twenty sixth minute when the impressive Bohan Dixon forced Sam into a great save at the foot of the post and then from the ensuing corner a Danny Rowe header was parried by our keeper only to see it crash against the underside of the bar and then get hooked away to safety with the crowd thinking that it had actually gone in.  Hornby again saved well from a Danny Rowe free kick soon after.

We should have increased our lead when we were awarded a free kick with just under ten minutes to go before the break.  With the kick being awarded just outside the Fylde box Tyrell Waite and James McQuilkin stood over the ball with McQuilkin eventually hitting the rolled ball goalwards only for Taylor to throw himself across the goal to flip around the upright.

A few minutes later and the Coasters had drawn level with a goal from the blue.  Without there appearing to be all that much danger the Harriers defenders stood off for a little too long and allowed Dixon to play the ball across to Rowe who then hit a venomous drive into the roof of the net.
  HT: 1 - 1
After the break Fylde came out with a renewed vigour and their first task was to stop the advancement of Ashley Carter in his forays up the pitch.  The idea was there but sadly they didn't take into account that we are not a one man team like themselves and it took only five more minutes for us to regain our lead.

That one man, Rowe, had just seen another long range effort go over the bar when Elton N'Gwatala was played in by Arthur Gnahouas pass and got in between two defenders to slot the ball across goal and into the bottom right hand corner.  We had found their weak spot and capitalised twice now.

Fylde weren't finished and responded with another Rowe strike that hit the foot of the post before another shot from him was parried away by Hornby but only as far as James Hardy waiting to tidy up with a return shot that beat the keeper and drew them level once again.  We now had a 'game on' situation and the next goal was going to be crucial so it had to go our way but sadly it didn't.

We came close with another McQuilkin free kick that Taylor somehow managed to tip over the bar but then Fylde broke away towards the other end of the stadium where Finley robbed Carter of the ball before avoiding Jordan Tunnicliffe and Keith Lowe to fire the ball across the face of the goal to the waiting Hardy to convert for his brace and Fyldes third.

We should have drawn level soon after when the ball was played into the Fylde goalmouth and a scramble on the line ensued that ended with Mani Dieseruvwe trying to force the ball over the line and Taylor trying to scramble it away.  Photographic evidence following the game shows that the Harriers had a strong claim for the goal but the linesman had said no so that was that.  Earlier on though the same official had deemed Mani offside even though there was three Fylde defenders goal side of him.

With time running out it looked as if all hope had gone of the Harriers being the first team this season to inflict a defeat on Fylde but at least we managed to get a draw out of them.

With three minutes left on the clock another free kick was lofted into the Fylde area and this time Tunnicliffe connected with it and Keith Lowe finished the move off with a downward header into the back of the net.  We could have gone on to win the game at the re-start when again the Reds surged forward and a tangerine clad hand shot up to stop the ball right on the edge of the area.  So near to that is was actually on the white line but the referee waved away the penalty calls.  Again the keeper saved McQuilkins free kick, but only just.

In the dying stages Fylde should have had a man sent off after Carter was taken out of the game by Ryan Jennings on the touchline but the referee again chickened out and only produced a yellow card as a punishment.

At the end of the game though the 3-3 result was overall a fair one and the five star entertainment will have given the Harriers fans great hope that this team is going places.  By season end there will only be two teams worthy of promotion and that will be ourselves and AFC Fylde.
  FT: 3 - 3

 Goals for Harriers: Gnahoua 13, N'Gwatala 49, Lowe 90
 Goals for Fylde: Rowe 42, Hardy 61, 71

The Harriers Online MotM is:

gif Elton N'Gwatala

Talk about the game here  
Latest table and stats here  

Harriers  goals   subs   cards      AFC Fylde  goals   subs   cards 
Hornby     R Taylor  
Williams gif     Holmes  
Carter gif     Kennedy  
Croasdale gif     Langley
Lowe gif     Collins  
Tunnicliffe     Bond  
Waite     Hardy gif gif  
McQuilkin     Finley gif
Dieseruvwe     Rowe gif  
N'Gwatala gif     Dixon  
Gnahoua gif     Baker gif  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Palmer     Thompson  
Austin gif - 76     Blinkhorn gif - 83  
A Brown gif - 74     M Hughes gif - 54  
Stambolziev gif - 90     Jennings gif - 79
Thomas     Tasdemir  

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