It was the perfect end to the Bank Holiday weekend as the Coasters picked up another three points with a 1-0 win over Southport at Mill Farm.
Nick Haughton’s seventh-minute goal proved to be the difference after a lovely passage of play worked its way out to Tom Walker, who flashed a first-time ball across the penalty area into the path of Haughton, leaving him to smash left footed into the back of the net.
There were four changes to the Coasters side from Saturday’s victory over Chester FC, with Emeka Obi, Tom Walker, Joe Rowley and Danny Rowe replacing Jordan Cranston, Kyle Morrison, Keenan Patten & Brad Holmes.
Just seven minutes in, first blood went the Coasters’ way when a sublime piece of play ended up with Tom Walker being allowed space to cross first time into the area where Haughton was waiting to turn home.
As the half went on, Southport grew into the game and had a few half chances of their own through whipped balls into the danger zone, with the Fylde defence standing up to the task brilliantly.
After Adam Anson ventured forward and was brought down 25 yards from goal by Alex Whitmore, Charlie Munro lined a free-kick up, hoping to draw his side level, though Chris Neal got across his line quickly to dive and clutch the ball into his chest.
Going in search of a second of the afternoon, the Coasters raced forward after Danny Rowe found Rowley through on goal, but as the midfielder was closed down by the on-rushing Cameron Mason, he managed to take the ball to the right of goal and cut back to Curtis Weston in the six-yard box, who couldn’t get a solid enough connection to direct it goalwards.
Another golden chance fell Fylde’s way when Rowe flicked a ball into Connor Barrett’s path through the middle, and with only the ‘keeper to beat, Mason flung himself to the ground and palmed away the defender’s effort.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde 1-0 Southport FC
The best moments of the half so far fell the way of the visitors when first Munro volleyed at goal, only for Neal to hold with ease before Enock Lusiama was kept out by a superb sliding challenge from Pierce Bird.
James Rowe’s side eventually had their first opportunity of the half when they broke quickly upfield through Brad Holmes, who cleverly chopped the ball past his man and cut back to the patiently-waiting Barrett on the penalty spot, but he ended up slicing wide of the post.
There were limited chances for both sides, but it was Southport who shaded the second half, especially when Dylan Vassallo tested Chris Neal from range with an effort that looked destined for the bottom corner, but Fylde’s number one sprung across his line and tipped the ball around the post.
Southport were pressing more and more in the dying embers of the game in search of an all-important equaliser before eventually being caught out at the back, which left Brad Holmes with one final chance to put the icing on the cake, though his tame effort was gathered by Mason seconds before the referee sounded the full-time whistle.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde 1-0 Southport FC
AFC Fylde: Neal, Obi, Whitmore, Bird, Walker, Barrett (70’ Patten), Philliskirk, Weston, Rowley (61’ Osborne), Haughton, Rowe (61’ Holmes).
Unused Subs: Morrison, Cranston.
Southport FC: Mason, Oliver, Doyle, Anson (29’ Carberry), Woods, Evans, Munro (71 Hmami), Lusiama, Quansah, Vassallo (88’ Archer), Bainbridge.
Unused subs: Watson, Goudie.