Article by Johnnie Lowery
Though the score would suggest a dull game, the match between Sutton United and AFC Fylde on Saturday was anything but with both sides having chances to pick up the win and both keepers on fine form.
Though the Coasters had the first half chance with Danny Rowe hitting a freekick into the wall it was Paul Doswell’s men who were the better side in the early stages. Tom Bolarinwa glanced a header just wide inside the opening ten minutes whilst Jamie Collins also came close with a headed effort, this time putting the ball just over. The chances kept coming, perhaps the best of them when Dan Wishart got in behind and pulled the ball back to Ross Lafayette, but the in-form striker took too long with his effort. Kieron Cadogan too had a good opportunity but couldn’t quite get the required contact on Bolarinwa’s cross. As the game went on the visitors grew into it more, and midway through the first half they nearly took the lead as Rowe spotted Butler off his line and shot from the halfway line, very nearly seeing it dip in. Rowe as expected was the main threat, and Butler had to be off his line quick to deny him when he was found by a through ball. Joe Cardle too looked lively for Fylde, and was twice denied by Butler before half time included a fantastic stop as his near post with just seconds left of the half.
The visitors picked up where they left off in the second half with Zaine Francis-Angol having an early chance from an angle which Butler again did well to save. On the hour mark Rowe had a shot just wide of the post after a freekick was only half cleared, but Sutton improved after this point and came close themselves when Josh Taylor hit the side netting. Craig Eastmond fired an effort just over from the edge of the box after good work by Cadogan, but the real talking point was on 72 minutes. A freekick from deep was met by Jamie Collins, who headed the ball on to substitute Tommy Wright. Though he was denied Aaron Drinan put in the rebound, only for it to be ruled out for offside. In a now breathless game both sides pushed for winners, Charlie Clough having to make an excellent last ditch challenge to deny Fylde what would have surely been a winner at the death. There was time for one more chance though, a Jamie Collins header from a corner seeming destined for the bottom corner until Jay Lynch appeared out of nowhere to claw the ball away and ensure the game finished level.