Coasters Move Into Top Six - All-Square At Chester And Heed

4 weeks ago By Steve Whitney

AFC Fylde moved into the play-off places in the Vanarama National League on Tuesday night after a comfortable 3-0 win against out-of-sorts Maidstone United side at Mill Farm.

The form of the two sides going into the game couldn`t have been much more contrasting.

The Coasters were protecting an unbeaten run of six matches, while the Stones hadn`t won in eleven.

And on a night when good football was extremely difficult in a very strong wind on the Fylde coast, it was the hosts who extended their unbeaten run.

Dave Challinor`s side took a 13th minute lead when a Sam Finley cross found Andy Bond, who half-volleyed the ball past Maidstone `keeper Lee Worgan.

And then Danny Rowe, who had amazingly failed to find the net in last weekend`s 6-0 hammering of leaders Macclesfield Town, made it 16 league goals for the season to date 3 minutes before half-time having earlier hit the post.

The home side confirmed victory in the 84th minute with a stunning effort from Jordan Tunnicliffe.

Gateshead and Woking began their game at the International Stadium locked together on 35 points in lower mid-table – and ended it still level on points following a 1-1 draw.

Woking had the upper hand in the opening 45 minutes without managing to trouble the scorers, although Jonathan Edwards twice went close.

And it therefore came as little surprise when the Cards did break the deadlock 6 minutes into the second period when Reece Greco-Cox fired across Heed `keeper Dan Hanford and into the corner of the net.

However, the visitors are in the middle of a barren run of form, coming into the game without a win in eight games, so nerves began to affect them going into the final quarter, and then on 80 minutes, Gateshead equalised when Scott Barrow`s cross was met on the half-volley by Ben Fox and his effort from 20 yards flew past Nathan Baxter to earn a share of the spoils.

The points were also shared in the evening`s other game between struggling Chester FC and Hartlepool United.

Poole came into the game with no wins in nine, while third-bottom Chester were in slightly better form overall, but were looking to bounce back from last Saturday`s defeat at the Swansway Chester Stadium against Gateshead.

And the home side had the better of the opening period, with Pools grateful to experienced `keeper Scott Loach, who made a succession of fine saves to keep the scoreline level going into the break.

The second half continued in a similar fashion, with Chester`s direct style in the wind causing problems.

But the opening goal when it finally arrived just past the hour-mark came from Hartlepool when good work from Jake Cassidy allowed Michael Woods to tap in from close range.

The home side were back on level terms though on 77 minutes when Harry White forced his way past two attempted tackles, move into the area finally manage to get one past Loach.

Pools though almost won it near the end when sub Tomi Adeloye got through and round keeper Sam Hornby, only for Andy Halls to clear off the line.

Where next?

Bignot: I Got The Reaction I Wanted From Chester Side Chester boss Marcus Bignot says the fight and resolve his players showed after they went behind against Gateshead meant they deserved the point they gained.
Tudors Move Into Third Place After Beating Ten-Man Clarets There was only one game in the Vanarama National League South on Tuesday night but it was an important one at the top end of the table involving Hemel Hempstead Town and Chelmsford City at Vauxhall Road.

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