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Match Reports

Late Heroics Rescue Point For Pools

17 March 2018

Devante Rodney Mark Fletcher (Shutter Press)
Devante Rodney celebrates his equaliser at AFC Fylde

Two sensational late goals saw Pools claim a point at AFC Fylde on Saturday, coming from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 at a bitterly-cold Mill Farm.

The game looked over as the play-off chasing hosts recovered from falling behind to an own goal to lead 3-1 with just two minutes left but screamers from Jake Cassidy and Devante Rodney rescued a dramatic point.

The hosts began on the front foot, with Jack Muldoon looking a particular threat on the right – and his was the first real effort of the afternoon when he found space on the right of the area but his angled drive zipped wide of the far post.

Rhys Oates’ pace got him away down the left as Pools showed their teeth moments later, the front man’s low cross finding Conor Newton arriving at the front post on the slide but he couldn’t prod the ball on target.

Muldoon was creating danger again at the other end when he let fly with a low drive from the edge of the area but Scott Loach got down well to gather.

There was a moment of panic at the back for the home side when Andy Bond’s short back pass was seized upon by Oates but Jay Lynch was off his line quickly and saved the resultant shot.

The National League’s top scorer attempted to add goal number 23 when he powered a long-range free-kick towards the target but Loach kept his eyes on the swerving effort and parried it clear.

Pools were frustrating their hosts and began to look more menacing on the break too; Michael Woods burst clear through the middle to set-up Jake Cassidy but the front man’s first time shot went just too high.

Lewis Hawkins got in the way of a shot at the edge of his own area and the block ricocheted all the way down field to Cassidy who was only denied by some alert keeping from Lynch who burst from his line to block the shot.

There was no chance for Lynch though on 39 minutes when Blair Adams swung a right-footed cross in to the box and Jordan Tunnicliffe’s header looped beyond the keeper to give Pools the lead.

However, the second half was less than a minute old when The Coasters grabbed a leveller; a ball in from the left found Bond and, when his first shot was well blocked by Conor Newton, he made no mistake with the second, ramming the rebound in to the roof of the net for 1-1.

And with only 55 minutes on the clock Bond doubled his tally to give the hosts the lead, this time cutting in from the left before whipping an incredible, wind-assisted shot in to the top corner past a helpless Loach.

The Coasters could have made it 3-1 when a good move down the right saw half time substitute Jonny Smith in space to shoot but his low effort was well held by Loach down to his right.

There was more work for the Pools keeper moments later when Rowe lined-up another long-range free-kick and Loach was able to parry before Smith’s finish from the rebound was ruled out for offside.

However, Fylde didn’t have long to wait to extend their lead when James Hardy arrived at the front post to sweep home Muldoon’s right-wing cross from six yards.

There was a lifeline for Pools on 88 minutes when Cassidy took matters in to his own hands with a thunderous drive which flew past Lynch and in to the top corner of the net for 3-2.

And the unlikely comeback was complete deep in injury time when a period of pressure was cleared only to Devante Rodney on the left who cut inside and unleashed an incredible curling shot in to the top corner to set-off bedlam in the away end.

Full Time: AFC Fylde 3 Pools 3

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Montrose, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Bond, Hardy (Taylor 89), Rowe, Muldoon, Grand, Tasdemir (Burke 46), Chettle (Smith 46).
Subs not used: Blinkhorn, Jones.

Pools: Loach, Magnay, Laing, Donnelly, Adams, Featherstone, Newton (Rodney 76), Hawkins, Woods (Munns 61), Cassidy, Oates.
Subs not used: Catterick, Owen, Hawkes.

Booked: Rodney (94)

Attendance: 1,753 (243 Pools)


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