AFC Fylde fell at the first hurdle in the FA Youth Cup after suffering a 3-1 defeat against a dominant Chester side.
After a cagey opening period, the Coasters took the lead when Brad Jones fired into the top corner, however they were level by half-time when the impressive Lloyd Marsh-Hughes struck.
Second-half strikes from Iwan Murray and Cain Noble eventually condemned Fylde to defeat in the second qualifying round of the competition.
The young Coasters side started brightly on a bitterly cold evening at Kellamergh Park and had a great chance to open the scoring when Samuel Iwegbu’s acrobatic scissor-kick bounced up and narrowly over the bar.
The visitors were starting to build momentum and Fylde stopper Ryan Garner had to be on his toes to divert Marsh-Hughes’ teasing cross out of the path of two Chester forwards lurking at the back post for the tap in.
Midfielder Cain Noble should have done better with a relative free header on the six yard line and was punished seconds later as Fylde broke the deadlock. Jones broke down the left and into the Chester penalty area before launching an unstoppable strike across goal and into the top right-hand corner.
First team star Serhat Tasdemir was looking dangerous in the early stages and fired a stinging drive straight at Chester stopper Ben Gale at the midway point of the half as the Coasters looked to double their lead.
However, the visitors restored parity on the half-hour mark with more than a hint of good fortune. Kai Wallis picked out Marsh-Hughes on the penalty spot and although his initial shot was saved, the ball rebounded off him and rolled into the empty goal.
Chances were becoming few and far between for Fylde – a wayward drive from Iwegbu the final attempt for the hosts as the half drew to a close.
Fylde boss Chris Ganner made a change shortly after the break, Samuel Iwegbu coming off for twin brother Xavier, however just two minutes after the switch, Chester were ahead. Murray picked up the ball and danced into the area before slotting the ball past Garner.
Marsh-Hughes fired another warning shot before Chester sealed the win with 25 minutes to play. Murray beat his man down the right and put the ball on a plate for Noble to head home at the back post.
Noble was on the hunt for his second of the evening but his strike from distance was comfortable for Garner.
Man of the match Murray continued to be a thorn in the side of the Coasters backline, dragging a left-footed strike just wide of the far post.
Some neat play from the home side inside the final ten minutes almost saw them pull a goal back when substitute Harvey MacAdam crossed for Dan Gray, however his volley flew over the bar.
The final chance of the match went in Fylde’s favour but Bradley Walsh couldn’t turn the ball home at the back post following Nyle Ellis’ deep cross.
Fylde: Garner, Ellis, Webster (Walsh 79), Winterburn, Hooper, Gray, S Iwegbu (X Iwegbu 50), Scarth (MacAdam 56), Tasdemir, Pope, Jones.