It was a point-a-piece at Mill Farm, as the Wood walked away with a 2-2 draw in the opening fixture of the 2017/18 campaign. 

Fylde opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Danny Woodards headed the ball into his own net, but Ricky Shakes pulled one back for the Wood just before half-time.

Kane Smith put Luke Garrard’s side ahead in the second half, but a dominant display from the away side was thwarted by an unstoppable strike from Jonny Smith. 

There were a number of debutants in the Wood eleven, with Smith, Keiran Murtagh, Jamie Turley, Tom Champion and Paul Benson all making their first appearances for the side.

Luke Garrard’s men were slow out of the blocks against an attacking AFC Fylde and Grant Smith had to be at his best to save Danny Rowe’s diving header.

The home side opened the scoring in under 20 minutes, Woodards got on the wrong end of Zaine Francis-Angol’s cross and headed it into his own net.

The away side were shaken and Fylde nearly doubled their lead shortly after, Andy Bond tucked between two Wood defenders and attempted to slip it past Smith, but it drifted wide.

Garrard’s side were slowly regaining their composure as Smith and Angelo Balanta linked up well on the right-wing, the latter crossed for Benson, but he headed over.

Murtagh won the ball on the edge of the area and laid it to Smith, the full-back then drove a shot that went narrowly past the post.

The home side finally got the equaliser they deserved moments before half time, a Balanta cross was met by the late run of Shakes’ who powered a header past Rhys Taylor.

Bond connected with a long-ball ball and charged forward, he looked up and lashed a strike at Smith that sailed over the cross bar.

Balanta danced his way through the Fylde box before lacing an effort at Taylor, the strike was blocked and it pinballed around the box before being poked wide.

Confusion in the home box allowed the Wood to pounce; Shakes’ cross was fumbled around the Fylde defence before Smith snuck in to nod the ball past Taylor.

A defensive clearance fell to Shakes on the edge of the area & he instinctively volleyed at goal, but Taylor pushed it over.

Murtagh looped a cross into the box and Stephens leapt highest to meet it, but his header was weak and it drifted wide.

A long ball from Sam Finley was found by the unmarked Jack Muldoon, he was through on goal but Danny Woodards charged back and slipped the ball from beneath his feet.

Fylde then equalised against the run of play; Jonny Smith collected the ball on the counter, dashed forward and launched an un-stoppable strike past Smith.

Bruno Andrade had replaced Woodards and instantly ditched two markers before threading the ball to Benson, but the attacker was marginally offside.

Smith then pulled of a spectacular save in the dying embers of the game to keep it level, a late free-kick from Rowe was powered at Smith but the stopper somehow palmed it wide.

Wood XI: G Smith, K Smith, Woodards (Andrade 72′), Ricketts, Stephens, Shakes, Champion, Benson, Murtagh, Turley, Balanta

Subs not used: Johnson, Jeffers, Sach, Keita 

Fylde XI: Taylor, Montrose, Francis-Angol, Tunnicliffe, Bond, Hardy (Jones 64′), Finley, Rowe, Muldoon, Ezewele (Smith 64′)

Subs not used: Lynch, Grand, Blinkhorn


The Wood: Shakes 45′, Smith 55′ 

Fylde: Woodards (OG),17′, Smith 75′ 


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