AFC Fylde 3 – 1 Eastleigh
Bradley, Williams, Croasdale – Hollands
AFC Fylde fired three goals past Eastleigh to wrap up a much needed win in the Vanarama National League.
The Coasters, returning home for the first time in almost a month, started well, with the energetic duo of Williams and Willoughby leading the line.
Williams went closest to opening the scoring after getting himself onto the end of Scott Duxbury’s brilliant cross – but he headed just wide of the post.
Despite this bright start, Fylde were very close to finding themselves behind, after Rob Atkinson rose highest at a corner – but saw his headed bounce back off of the bar.
After a stoppage in play which saw the Assistant Referee replaced by the Fourth Official, The Coasters worked their way back to into it – with Duxbury firing an effort from an acute angle which was well stopped.
In a free flowing move which encouraged the hone support, a slick passing move saw Bradley find Rowe on the edge of the box, but the Coasters forward saw his effort blocked.
The deadlock was broken by the Coasters though as Dan Bradley, who found himself playing as a makeshift full-back, bombed forward, before powering an effort which deflected over the Eastleigh keeper, and in.
A nasty injury to Scott Duxbury soon followed and forced the Coasters into a change – but with no recognised defender on the pitch, Mark Yeates joined the fray against his former side.
A formation change followed, with a make-shift back four seeing Dan Bradley pushed further back into the right back position.
This meant that Eastleigh could put the pressure on the hosts, and with an additional six added minutes had good chances, with Marcus Barnes creeping an effort just wide of the post.
After the interval, the away side picked up where they left off, and with Danny Rowe giving away a wide free-kick, the Spitfires had the opportunity to swing one into the box.
Payne did just that, with his low cross finding the onrushing Danny Hollands who dispatched low past Dan Lavercombe, levelling the game.
The visitors stayed in the driving seat, and kept the pressure on a Fylde side who were without a win in eight games.
The game needed something special to put AFC Fylde back ahead, and through Coasters forward Jordan Williams, it found exactly that.
Coming in off of the right wing, Williams beat two men before unleashing a 25 yard strike which winded into the corner – and put the Coasters back ahead.
Nick Haughton was introduced for Kurt Willoughby, which saw Fylde revert back to a back five, with goalscorer Jordan Williams taking up the left wing back berth.
With the game finely balanced, the Coasters knew that to finish the game off they’d have to continue to do what had got them ahead – and soon enough, they had a third.
Dan Bradley’s marauding run saw him pick out Danny Rowe in the box, who did well to find Ryan Croasdale in support.
Croasdale had time to control the ball and despite a sea of blue scrabbling to block a shot, poked the ball home, and all but tied up Fylde’s much needed three points.
AFC Fylde: Lavercombe, Bradley, Whitmore, Byrne, Jameson, Duxbury, Croasdale, Philliskirk, Rowe, Willoughby, Williams.
Subs: Montgomery, Yeates, Ngwatala, Green, Haughton.
Eastleigh: Stryjek, Partington, Green, Atkinson, Boyce, McKnight, Payne, Miley, Williamson, holland (C), Barnes.
Subs: Rendell, Smart, Flinter, Bearwish, Seamen.