The Coasters were hoping to extend their winning run against Ebbsfleet and move closer to survival. However, the hosts dominated the first half, and despite a late goal from Gerald Mcculion on his debut, Fylde fell to a defeat on the road.

Chris Beech called upon three changes to the side who claimed all three points last time out against Oldham Athletic on Good Friday. Nick Haughton was given compassionate leave by The Coasters’ Head Coach, with his partner, the former AFC Fylde women’s player Laura Merrin expecting her and Nick’s first child.

The Coasters were also forced into another change with Bryce Hosannah gaining a knock in training a few days prior. Chris Beech confirmed he’d be returning to training in the coming week ahead of two big games at Mill Farm.

In the early stages of the game, both teams exchanged possession, with poor passes leading to frequent changes. Fylde earned the first free-kick, but Tom Walker’s poor ball into the box was cleared easily by Ebbsfleet’s defence.

Fylde kept pushing and earned the first corner of the game, but it was well-cleared by Ebbsfleet and didn’t create any problems for Mark Cousins. Ebbsfleet’s Chapman beat his man down the right but his ball across the box found no one.

The first shot of the game came from Ebbsfleet’s Billy Clifford in the 11th minute, but it was just wide of Theo Richardson’s goal. Jon Ustabasi found Tom Walker on the opposite wing, but his cross didn’t find anyone in a Fylde shirt.

Ebbsfleet’s Ben Chapman opened the scoring with a brilliant finish into the top left corner in the 17th minute after great work from Dominic Poleon. Poleon almost doubled their advantage soon after but only managed a weak shot.

Ebbsfleet’s domination continued, and Bingham’s brilliant ball across the box forced Harry Davis to clear for a corner in the 23rd minute. The resulting corner went out for a Fylde throw-in. Chapman fired wide with a low and fast-paced shot past Theo in the Fylde goal.

Good work from Connor Barrett won a corner for Fylde in the 28th minute, but the resulting corner came to nothing, and they got caught on the counter-attack. More Ebbsfleet possession led to another corner in the 32nd minute, causing chaos in the Fylde penalty area.

Great work from Ormerod found Ustabasi, but a great block from Bilongo sent the ball out for a corner in the 35th minute. Ebbsfleet continued to attack from the wings, with Fogarty hitting the ball against the side netting.

Connor Barrett won a free-kick just outside the box after being hacked down by Fogarty in the 40th minute. Tom Walker’s free-kick was on target but didn’t trouble Mark Cousins. Conway missed everyone with his cross right on the stroke of half-time, with Ebbsfleet dominating large spells of the game.

In the second half, Fylde had their first chance in the 47th minute, but Danny Ormerod headed over despite being unmarked. Ebbsfleet had another chance through Bingham in the 48th minute, but he fired over from close range.

Ebbsfleet doubled their lead through Chapman in the 53rd minute after a great cross-field ball from Clifford. Another chance for Ebbsfleet in the 55th minute saw Poleon unable to get on the end of it. In the 57th minute, Poleon fired past the post and into the stand after receiving a pass from Bingham.

Ash Hunter replaced Tom Walker in the 60th minute, taking his place on the left-hand side. Another chance for Ebbsfleet in the 60th minute saw Poleon unable to get on the end of Bingham’s ball across the box.

Chapman was booked in the 65th minute for taking down Ustabasi. After Ebbsfleet created another chance which they should have scored, Dominic Poleon was taken off for Darren Mcqueen after a great performance.

Edser and Bilongo’s efforts created more chances for Ebbsfleet, but the linesman’s flag went up after Adam Long cleared the ball. In the 72nd minute, Whitehead blazed one over the bar, which was the best chance of the half for the Coasters following Ustabasi’s great work on the left-hand side to cut back to Fylde’s number 23.

Hunter was booked for dissent after Mitchell fouled Edser in the midfield. Adshead was taken off in the 80th minute for Gerald Mcculion, who made his debut for the Coasters, joining from the club’s Academy side a few days prior. Chapman was replaced by Cundle for the home side after a great display. 

Bingham fed Clifford, who somehow missed from close range in the 82nd minute, despite great work from Ebbsfleet. Mcculion poked the ball home on his debut for the Coasters after great work from Connor Barrett, making it 2-1 in the 84th minute. The young striker’s excellent positioning meant he scored his first goal for the Coasters.

Owen Evans came on for Danny Whitehead in the 86th minute, which was the final throw of the dice for the Coasters. Hunter’s excellent delivery into the box found Ustabasi’s head, which unfortunately looped over the bar in the 87th minute. 

In the 90th minute, Harry Davis was sent off for the Coasters, and Adam Long was also booked for his protests. Six minutes were added on for the Coasters to try and find a goal. The final whistle went, and Ebbsfleet went away with all three points despite a late-spirited performance from the Coasters.

AFC Fylde: Richardson, Davies, Long, Barrett, Utabasi, Walker (Hunter 60), Conway, Whitehead (Evans 87), Adshead (McCullion 80), Ormerod, Mitchell. Unused subs: Graham, Holder

Attendance: 1,642 (36 away)