COOK: LATICS CANNOT COAST
WIGAN boss Paul Cook couldn’t hide his disappointment at being forced to a replay with AFC Fylde but credited the NonLeaguers for battling back to bag a draw.
Cook’s Latics and the plucky Coasters will both be in the hat for tomorrow’s third-round draw after a compelling cup-tie watched by a national television audience.
The 2013 winners looked to have avoided the banana skin when Will Grigg nodded home only for Danny Rowe to level from the spot.
Wigan started the game with all the chutzpah of a side beaten just once in ten games but failed to gorge on a glut of first-half chances.
“In games like this, if you don’t get that second goal you run the risk of that happening,” Cook said.
“A second goal would have disappointed Fylde so much, with the energy levels they were using to stay in the game.
“But we just didn’t manage to take advantage of the chances. Wigan have been there as a club, where Fylde are tonight, and it’s totally their night.
“It’s easy to be disappointed but we’re in the hat, that’s the main thing.”
Gavin Massey came within a whisker in the second minute, firing narrowly wide.
Northern Ireland international Grigg nearly nabbed an opener when his looping header clipped the bar.
Just as chances appeared to have dried up, the visitors snatched an interval lead.
Nathan Byrne swivelled and delivered a left-footed cross, Grigg applying the deftest of glances into the bottom left from six yards.
The pattern of play remained after the break, Jay Lynch forced into sharp stops to his left when Michael Jacobs shaped to curl in and Lee Evans drilled an effort on target.
Although Fylde carved out their first opening when sub Matty Blinkhorn nearly headed in with his first touch, there looked to be slim hope for the hosts.
But the Coasters have won seven of their last eight games and came surging back in the 70th minute.
Skipper Sam Finley, a bundle of industry and ingenuity throughout, got to the ball before Byrne, who caught him to concede a penalty.
National League top scorer Rowe looked the coolest character in Mill Farm when he stepped up and slotted his spotkick.
Fylde boss Dave Challinor said: “In the second half I thought we deserved something on effort alone.
“The first half was difficult, we tried to match them up and really rode our luck.
“We eventually got that bit of luck you need and earned ourselves a replay. The draw on Monday is something to look forward to regardless of the result.
“We’ve held Wigan, the best team in the draw. We’ll enjoy tonight.”
FYLDE: (4-3-3): Lynch 7, Richards 6 (Grand 89 N/A), Edmundson 6, Tunnicliffe 7, Francis-Angol 7, Montrose 6, Finley 8 (Taylor 90+3 N/A), Bond 6, Ezewele 5 (Blinkhorn 62 6), Rowe 7, Smith 7
Subs not used: Taylor, McCready, Tasdemir, Jones WIGAN: (4-2-3-1): Jones 6, Byrne 6, Dunkley 7, Burn 6, James 6, Evans 7, Morsy 6, Jacobs 7 (Roberts 90 N/A), Power 6, Massey 6 (Powell 73 6), Grigg 7 (Toney 88 N/A)
Subs not used: Elder, Perkins, Bruce, Sarkic