County battled to earn an important point at Mill Farm as they ensured runaway league leaders AFC Fylde drew a blank in front of a club record midweek attendance.
Mark Ross and Connor Hampson returned to the starting line-up as County adopted a back 5 in the hope of stopping the league top scorers on their own patch, but similar to the game at Edgeley Park in September, The Coasters quickly settled into a rhythm and dominated the opening stages of the game.
Danny Rowe had a good opportunity to repeat his heroics at Edgeley Park, but his free-kick from 25 yards out was weak and allowed Ben Hinchliffe to palm the ball over the bar. Whilst at the other end, former Fylde winger Danny Lloyd had the opportunity to test Rhys Taylor with a low drive. In addition, both County and AFC had good opportunities from the corner spot but two of the more solid defensive sides in the league ensured the score was level at the break.
HT: AFC Fylde 0-0 County
The second half started as the first ended, with both sides looking for a goal. The match was end-to-end without any real clear-cut opportunities for either side. Danny Rowe had two more free-kicks dealt with by the County defence, whilst Sefton Gonzales missed the best chance of the game in front of the 1000 travelling County fans.
Lloyd was set free down the left wing and unleashed a strike just inside the box which was parried to the number 9 at a tight angle. Unfortunately for County, the striker’s shot clattered against the corner of the crossbar and bounced away to safety.
Lloyd was subbed shortly after to a standing ovation from all sides of the ground, and his replacement Kaine Felix immediately began causing problems in The Coasters defence. His best opportunity saw him fall just sort of reaching a through ball from Harry Winter, Taylor’s feet just reaching the ball first.
The game continued in this frantic manner until the very final whistle, and both sides seemed happy with a point as the 94 minutes came to a close. The result sees Fylde sit nine points clear of Kidderminster with seven games remaining, whilst County are one point outside the play-offs and six off the second-placed Harriers.
FT: AFC Fylde 0-0 County
Team: Hinchliffe, Ross, Hampson, Montrose, Clarke, Smalley, Minihan, Winter, Gonzales (Duxbury, 86), Ball, Lloyd (Felix, 67).
Unused Subs: Ormson, Meppen-Walters, Odejayi.