AFC Fylde strike late on at Mill Farm to force a replay in FA Cup.
Mikael Mandron’s first half goal was cancelled out by Tom Walker’s late volley as Gillingham drew 1-1 with AFC Fylde at Mill Farm.
Neil Harris made four changes to the starting XI for the FA Cup First Round tie. Will Wright, Hakeeb Adelakun, Dom Jefferies and Mikael Mandron all came into the line-up with Max Ehmer and Scott Kashket on the bench.
Nick Haughton had the first opportunity of the game in the third minute. He managed to find some space just outside the area before aiming a low-driven shot towards the far corner. However, he could not find the target as it went wide of the post.
Ryan Law had a great chance in the 17th minute. The Plymouth loanee received the ball off of Lewis Walker inside the penalty area before shooting across the goal towards the bottom corner. Chris Neal got down to deny him as he got a hand on it. The resulting touch also took the ball away from Mandron, who was sliding in at the back post.
Jefferies came close after Gillingham won possession near the halfway line. He was 25 yards from the goal and tried his luck. It took a deflection on its way to goal as it floated just wide of the post with Neal rooted to his spot.
Adelkaun had a shot on target in the 38th minute. He was allowed to run towards the penalty area without any pressure before shooting from 20 yards. Unfortunately, his effort was straight at Neal, who claimed the ball at the second attempt.
Mandron gave Gillingham the lead with the final kick of the first half. Adelakun won a free-kick on the right after he was hauled down, and Wright was the man to take the set piece. He curled the ball into the box, and Mandron did well to get himself free and in space. The ball fell to the forward as he angled a side-footed volley into the bottom corner, leaving Neal rooted to his spot.
HALF-TIME: AFC Fylde 0-1 Gillingham
Gills made their first change in the 62nd minute as Stuart O’Keefe was replaced by Max Ehmer. It saw Gills make a tactical change with Wright going to right back and Robbie McKenzie moving into the centre of midfield.
Glenn Morris was called into action for the first time as he denied Emeka Obi. A corner into the box made its way towards the back with Obi waiting in space. He headed it goalward from around six yards, but Morris did well to react and push it over the bar.
Scott Kashket, who replaced Walker, had a good chance in the 78th minute. He managed to find space between the two Fylde central defenders as Wright played the ball through for the forward. He opted to strike it from outside of the penalty area from around 20 yards. Kashket’s curling effort forced Neal into a palmed save, but he collected it at the second attempt.
The hosts equalised in the 83rd minute. Danny Rowe’s cross into the box was headed as far as Tom Walker, who rifled a side-footed volley across the goal and into the bottom corner.
Morris had to be at full stretch to deny Haughton shortly after. The Fylde man twisted and turned before curling a shot towards the corner of the goal. It forced Morris to get across and palm away from the danger area.
Haughton came close again moments later as he continued to cause Gillingham issues. He made his way into the penalty area getting beyond Gillingham defenders before firing across the goal. Fortunately, it blazed wide of the post.
FULL-TIME: AFC Fylde 1-1 Gillingham
AFC Fylde: Neal, Weston (Whitehead 63’), Obi, Whitmore, Philliskirk, Rowe, Haughton, Conlan, Charman (Ligendza 84’), Walker, Bird
Unused Substitutes: McPartlan, Davis, Hatfield, Rowley, Taylor, O’Kane, Edwards
Gillingham: Morris, McKenzie, Wright, Baggott, Law, Adelakun, O’Keefe (Ehmer 62’), Jefferies, MacDonald (Alexander 81’), Walker (Kashket 73’), Mandron
Unused Substitutes: Turner, Akehurst, Mnoga, Gbode
Referee: Tom Reeves
Attendance: 996 (160)