Nick Haughton clinched a big three points with just three minutes to spare as the Coasters secured victory over Spennymoor Town in the Vanarama National League North.
After controlling most of the game, it looked as though both teams would have to settle for a point before Haughton stepped up and struck a deadly blow in the final few minutes.
Jim Bentley made two changes to the side that started against Exeter City on Saturday, with Jordan Lussey and Jack Sanders making way for the experienced duo, Nathan Pond and David Perkins. Both teams approached the game unbeaten, with Spennymoor Town recording two wins and two draws in their opening four games of the season.
The Coasters got the game underway, with the first ten minutes being heavily controlled by the home side, who kept hold of the ball superbly without creating any clear-cut chances.
The early dominance led to the first chance of the game. Coasters captain, Nathan Pond, rising highest to meet a corner, but his header was too high to test Dale Eve’s in the Spennymoor goal.
Tollitt, as always, was causing problems in the opening stages. His cross in towards Hulme saw the number nine glance a header goalwards, though Spennymoor managed to avert the danger.
The Moors then came forward themselves, as a free-kick found centre-back, James Curtis in the penalty area. The captain rose above everyone to guide his header towards goal, and although Chris Neal couldn’t quite gather, the Coasters eventually scrambled the ball clear.
A player seeing plenty of the ball was Tollitt on the left wing. This time he raced forward into the final third with Jordan Hulme alongside him, the winger then clipped a ball around the defender and into Hulme’s path, but Eve was quick to rush off his line and dive on the ball.
This time, Tollitt lined a free-kick up just outside the 18-yard box, though Eve managed to parry away.
On the stroke of half-time, there was a chance for the visitors to have one last chance through Scott McLean. The Coasters cleared a corner in from the right, only for the ball to fall for McLean, who took one touch and volleyed into the safe hands of Chris Neal.
Half-Time: Coasters 0-0 Spennymoor Town
Prior to the half-time whistle being blow, the visitors began to get a real foothold in the game and they began the second half in a similar fashion. Ex-AFC Fylde man, Tyler Forbes, bombed down the left wing before sending a low cross towards Ben McKenna. He took one touch and shot under Neal, but Nathan Pond was in the right place at the right time to clear off the line.
A mistake in the Fylde defence allowed Glen Taylor to break free, and with a clear run on goal, he looked certain to score. It took a vital intervention from Mr.Consistent, Alex Whitmore, to prevent The Moors from scoring the opening goal of the game.
As we approached the 70-minute mark, Jim Bentley’s side started to ramp up the pressure. Tollitt, involved in the thick of things again, cut in from the right and shot towards goal, however, Eve was there to tip his effort around the post.
Just before being substituted, Shaw cut in from the left and somehow managed to evade the Spennymoor defence with his shot, but his curling effort went just over the bar.
As the game approached the final ten minutes, Haughton began setting his sights in front of goal, seeing a deflected shot smothered by Eve.
Then came the breakthrough. Haughton started his run on the right-hand side of the 18-yard box – and keeping the ball close to his feet – he somehow weaved his way across to the left and into the area, unleashing a left-footed shot past Eve and into the far corner.
In the dying embers of the game, Mark Anderson thought he had found an equaliser when he hit a stinging shot towards goal, but Neal stood firm and held on to the relief of everybody connected with Fylde.
The final whistle blew, and the roars of Jim Bentley and his staff could be heard. It was another tremendous win for The Coasters, who now sit joint-top of the league along with Gloucester City on 16 points.
Full-Time: Coasters 1-0 Spennymoor Town