Jim Gannon’s men arguably put in their performance of the season to keep a dangerous Fylde team at bay for the vast majority of the match. However, a quiet Danny Rowe showed his quality, scoring a last minute free-kick to win the game.
As the game kicked off at Edgeley Park under the lights, there was clearly a cautious atmosphere in the air. Many in the crowd thought that it could be a long night. Fylde certainly looked the part in the opening 10/15 minutes and were running rings around a County side that looked as though they were giving too much respect to their full-time counterparts.
As the game went on, however, County grew into the game and whilst they didn’t pressure the Fylde ‘keeper too much during the first half, they were creating the opportunities. It was therefore to everyone’s dismay, that Fylde’s first opportunity resulted in a goal straight from a County attack, new signing Dan Bradley, slotting past the onrushing Hinchliffe.
Despite the goal, County’s game plan remained and the confidence was clearly growing as the first half came to a close. As the teams came out for the second half, the blue & white army were right behind their players (figuratively) as they attacked the Cheadle End and as County pressed more and more, the noise grew and grew.
It looked as though a goal was coming, County were first to every ball and quick to win it back after losing it. Lloyd was out to prove something to his former employers and Minihan and Duxbury were industrious on the wings.
Dux was having a stormer at left back, however half-way through the second period he was clattered by the Fylde defence. A lengthy stoppage ensued as Duxbury regained consciousness and was treated on the pitch by the numerous medical staff present.
If the County support were riled before this incident, the inexplicable decision by the referee to award an uncontested drop ball (which is against the rules) when there was clear grounds to give a penalty and red card to the defender in question, meant that the atmosphere cranked up a notch again.
County finally got their reward in the 93rd minute when Scott Spencer danced around the box before striking low and into the corner to send everyone inside the ground (besides the 80 odd Fylde fans) into ecstasy.
Unfortunately for the plucky Hatters, a needless free-kick given away 30 yards out was made for Danny Rowe and the ex-hatter duly put the ball over the wall and beyond the reach of the despairing Hinchliffe.
Full time: County 1-2 Fylde.
As many have said, the players should be proud to of their performance and we need to ensure that momentum is not lost in the next two or three matches. Starting with Salford in a few days time.
- Team: Hinchliffe, Ross (Capt.), Duxbury (Rule, 73), Montrose, Clarke, Smalley, Minihan, Stopforth, Amis (Odejayi, 80), Marsden (Spencer, 80), Lloyd.
- Unused Subs: Meppen-Walters, Ormson
- Man of the Match: Lloyd.
- Attendance: 2,206
- Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt-Ez9Z1nUk