James Dean came off the bench to head home the only goal of the game and claim a vital three points for AFC Fylde at league-leaders North Ferriby United on Saturday.
In a game where it seemed a draw was the likely outcome, Michael Barnes provided the cross for Dean to lose his marker and head past the outstretched keeper from 10 yards with 11 minutes to go and move the Coasters to within seven points of the play-offs.
Chances were few and far between early on as both sides were fighting for possession inmidfield and it was a game for defences to come to the fore.
Barnes struggled as Nathan Peat had done his homework on the winger, meaning he struggled to find space for his crosses and had to cut inside himself and fire a weak shot at goal which Adam Nicklin was happy to gather on seven minutes.
Fylde surged forward again on 21 minutes but this attack also came to a frustrating end when Barnes was again forced to cut inside from the wing and his second effort on goal was blocked and cleared.
After another brief period of midfield battles and high balls to no one in particular the game burst into life five minutes before the break.
Farrell’s head connected well with Glenn Steel’s long ball over the top and Nicklin had to track back to catch the ball on the line.
But then it was all North Ferriby and they squandered three excellent chances before the interval.
Burscough managed to stop the rot of three consecutive defeats with a 0-0 draw at home to play-off hopefuls Clitheroe, writes Adam Saint.
A clean sheet for the Linnets will also give boss Derek Goulding satisfaction ahead of two tricky away games in the coming week.
The game began in a scrappy fashion and neither team really threatened.
The visitors took the early initiative, passing the ball well but failing to create any clear-cut chances.
The Greens’ first major chance came on 25 minutes – a free-kick from Cummins found its way through the wall via a deflection, but the rebound was fired over the bar by David Lynch.
At the other end a forward ball by the visitors was then misjudged by Liam Duff, leaving Blues striker Daley Woods one on one with keeper Tim Horn, only for him to place his shot shockingly wide.
The second half would begin with the visitors once again looking to take the lead.
A corner by Clitheroe met the head of Smalley, with the ball just going over the crossbar.
A moment of controversy just before the hour-mark would prove to be the talking point of the game, the referee waving away a penalty claim by the away side after Simon Nangle was brought down in the box.
Joe Camozzi proved to be the danger man, constantly bursting forward and firing in cross after cross throughout the game.
But the Burscough front line were not able to convert any of the chances he provided.
Striker Niall Cummins came close with a header late on which went wide, and the Linnets’ defence held firm to share the points at Victoria Park.
Burscough are back in action tomorrow night, when they travel to Ramsbottom United.
Chorley’s NPL Premier Division game at Buxton was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
In the NPL First Division North, Bamber Bridge won 3-0 at Garforth Town, Matthew Kay, Chris Marlow and Mark Buchan on target.
But although Darren Green scored twice for Lancaster City at Prescot Cables, the Dolly Blues went down 3-2.
Liam Davis, Daniel Lambert and Jonathon Bathurst scored Cables’ goals.
In the Conference Premier, Southport lost 2-1 at home to Woking, with Aaron Chalmers getting their consolation goal.