AFC Fylde were narrowly defeated 2-1 at home by Eastleigh at Mill Farm on Saturday in the Vanarama National League.

Adam Murray handed new signing Kyron Gordon his debut in Fylde colours. Meanwhile, Theo Richardson and Nick Haughton also returned to the side.

Jake Taylor’s 17th-minute opener saw the Coasters behind at the interval, in a first half in which they had captain Alex Whitmore dismissed.

Paul McCallum doubled Eastleigh’s advantage five minutes after half-time before Trent Rendall flicked a header into his own net to half the deficit, but the Coasters could not find an elusive equaliser.

The Coasters started brightly in the opening minutes, and following on from some neat build-up play, Danny Whitehead’s fierce strike from the edge of the box found the side-netting.

Josh Kay was next to try his luck when he cut inside from the right to bend his left-footed strike towards goal and forced visiting goalkeeper Joe McDonnell into a low diving save.

Pushing for an opener, a well-worked breakaway up field saw Kay feed Nick Haughton, but the Coasters’ number 10 drilled an effort narrowly wide of the bottom left post.

Eastleigh led after 17 minutes after Trent Rendall’s deep free-kick was played across goal by Scott Quigley from the right to be eventually tapped in at the back post by Taylor.

Midway through the half, Haughton’s corner from the right into a crowded box was met by the head of Danny Philliskirk, who powered at goal, only to see his effort cleared off the line by McCallum.

But with nine minutes left until half-time, Fylde’s task was made more difficult when referee John Mulligan sent Whitemore off following an off-the-ball incident in the Eastleigh box after a corner.

The sending-off prompted Murray to make his first substitution of the game, swapping Siya Ligendza for Connor Barrett.

Fylde went close to drawing level late in the half, with Emeka Obi’s header from Haughton’s corner cleared again by McCallum – whilst up the other end, Richardson superbly denied Charlie Carter’s close-range strike.

The six minutes of added time included chances for Luke Conlan’s deflected effort from distance deflected into the gloves of McDonell before Obi’s sliding block thwarted Quigley’s shot in a dangerous position.

Half-Time: AFC Fylde 0-1 Eastleigh

The first chance of the half fell to the Coasters just minutes after the restart. Haughton weaved beyond three Eastleigh shirts to test McDonnell from the edge of the box, which took a slight deflection prior to being tipped around for a corner.

However, Richard Hill’s Spitfires scored their second on 51 minutes. Quigley’s effort deflected into the path of McCallum, who converted past Richardson and into the roof of the net from a matter of yards.

Haughton and Philliskirk were both denied by McDonnell from distance as the Coasters pushed.

Richardson then came to Fylde’s rescue, stopping Quigley’s shot with his boot in a one-on-one situation.

Fylde had a goal back in the 77th minute after Rendall turned Conlan’s pinpoint cross from the left beyond his own goalkeeper.

Richardson parried away Chris Maguire’s shot from 25 yards after being set up by McCallum’s pass.

In added time, Barrett’s shot across goal was tipped behind by McDonnell before Whitehead lifted his strike over the crossbar, as Fylde were beaten.

AFC Fylde: Richardson, Conlan, Obi, Whitmore, Gordon, Kay, Whitehead, Philliskirk (Ustabasi 67′), Haughton, Ligendza (Barrett 39′), Charman (Omotayo 65′)

Unused Subs: Glynn, O’Kane.

Eastleigh: McDonnell, Clampin (Rutherford 45′), Francillette, Langston, Rendall, Boldewijn, Carter (Nwabuokie 82′), Taylor (Atangana 53′) McCallum, Quigley, Maguire

Unused Subs: Barlow, Scott.