Nick Haughton’s 13th-minute strike was the difference against Leamington FC as the Coasters claimed their final three points of the season ahead of the play-offs.

The creative midfielder got the Coasters going and scored the only goal of the game with an arrowed strike into the top corner, leaving Callum Hawkins with no chance in the Brakes net.

Several chances went begging for James Rowe’s side throughout the game, and the visitors threatened also in front of goal but failed to capitalise on their chances.

Rowe, again, made several changes to the Coasters side, with the likes of Haughton, Harry Davis, Alex Whitmore and Danny Philliskirk all getting starts.

There was a welcome return to the side for goalkeeper Chris Neal and Will Hatfield made his first start after serving a three-match ban.

Back in the starting XI after dropping to the bench against York City, Haughton took the game by the scruff of the neck to pick a loose ball up 25 yards from goal and let fly into the top corner, leaving Callum Hawkins with no chance in the Brakes goal.

Leamington arrived on the Fylde Coast safe from relegation and looking to express themselves going forward, which they did after Haughton’s goal.

First, Devon Kelly-Evans lifted a free-kick over the bar after Will Hatfield was penalised for a handball on the edge of the area before Dan Meredith let fly from distance, only to be denied by a diving Chris Neal.

Douglas Taylor was lurking in and around the area, looking to sniff out an opportunity in front of goal, which he nearly did with an acrobatic kick towards the net, but Callum Hawkins got across well and held.

On the stroke of half-time, Taylor had another chance to turn the ball home, this time from a delicious Will Hatfield cross, but his header was a lick of paint away from finding the bottom corner as it cannoned back off the post.

Half-TIme: AFC Fylde 1-0 Leamington FC

Two quickfire chances were to present themselves to the Coasters 10 minutes after the restart, as Luke Conlan poked towards Taylor, who struck venomously towards goal, which was palmed away by Hawkins.

Haughton almost turned from goalscorer to provider when he clipped a ball in behind the Brakes defence for Osborne to take down and volley at goal, but again, Hawkins stood firm.

It wasn’t all Fylde, though, when Adam Walker picked up a loose ball bouncing around in the area and fired towards goal, and as it looked destined for the back of the net, Danny Philliskirk was there to head away.

With the scoreline still set at a one-goal lead for the Coasters, it was almost double when Taylor cleverly flicked a ball around the corner of the Leamington defence to Osborne, who turned a fed Ben Tollitt out wide. He drove inside and setback for Taylor, but he thumped wide of the post.

A few minutes were left on the clock when substitute Stephen Dobbie hoped to put the icing on the cake ahead of the play-off semi-final fixture, but Hawkins was out quick to deny him with an outstretched leg.

Full-Time: AFC Fylde 1-0 Leamington FC

AFC Fylde: Neal, Morrison, Davis, Whitmore, Walker (58’ Tollitt), Conlan, Philliskirk, Hatfield (64’ Whitehead), Haughton (77’ Dobbie), Osborne, Taylor.

Unused Subs: Stott, Burke, Whitehead, Dobbie.

Leamington FC: Hawkins, Meredith, Morley, Clarke (66’ Bushaj), Mace, Lane, Williams, Walker, Turner (77’ Olakoko), Edwards (64’ Parker), Kelly-Evans.

Unused subs: English, Taylor.