Magpies punished by late Rowe strike

James Dean missed a penalty against AFC Fylde
James Dean missed a penalty against AFC Fylde
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A top-quality strike by the impressive Danny Rowe six minutes from time decided a thrilling local derby.

It was AFC Fylde’s first league victory over Chorley in three seasons and on the basis of shots at goal – a deserved one.

But there was more to this cut-and-thrust contest than the bare scoreline suggests, and the Magpies will rue a missed first-half penalty and debatable disallowed goal on the hour.

Both sides hit the woodwork too as a crowd of 903 were kept on tenterhooks throughout a compelling match.

Early Fylde efforts on goal were either blocked or deflected to safety before Chorley’s James Dean met a Josh Hine cross with a powerful header which flew past the post.

Another flicked header was cleared off the Fylde line by Josh Wilson, then in the 23rd minute the Magpies’ big chance came and went. Caspar Hughes was penalised for a foul but the usually reliable Dean blazed the spot-kick over the bar.Chorley lived dangerously as half-time approached. Danny Lloyd just failed to connect with a fine centre which raked the goalmouth and Andy Teague somehow deflected a Rowe cross over the bar. Sam Ashton then brilliantly tipped over a smart Rowe header.

Teague saved the visitors again after the break, flicking Richie Baker’s shot over the bar but it was Chorley who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Adam Roscoe’s clever overhead kick looped into the corner of the net.

However, the referee deemed keeper Ben Hinchcliffe to have been impeded and Fylde survived the scare.

The elusive Darren Stephenson’s pace and clever footwork produced a searing cross which neither Dean nor Hine could quite turn into the net. Chorley were dominant at this stage and an Andy Bond cross-cum-shot bounced on the Fylde bar with Hinchcliffe motionless.

Fylde began to reassert themselves and the ever-dangerous Rowe was unlucky after turning his marker to see a cracking shot rattle the foot of a post.

He had better fortune and underlined his class in the 84th minute. Collecting the ball from a throw-in, he promptly smashed an unstoppable 20-yards’ drive beyond Ashton to put Fylde within touching-distance of the points. In the dying minutes, only a smart reflex save by Ashton prevented Lloyd from making the game safe and there was still time at the other end for last-minute Chorley substitute Raul Correia to clip the bar with a header.