AFC Fylde made a winning return to Mill Farm with a 2-0 win over Gloucester City in the National League North.

Nick Haughton opened the scoring after six minutes when he curled a right-footed effort into the bottom corner and past Liam Armstrong before Bird added a second moments before the half-time interval.

Adam Murray named an unchanged side to the one that secured victory over King’s Lynn Town. Alex Whitmore came back into the squad and was selected on the bench after serving a two-game suspension.

Haughton looked keen to make an impact from the first whistle when he spotted Armstrong off his line from kick-off to try and catch him out with an effort that eventually travelled over the bar.

That was his just first chance of three in the opening five minutes, with his next coming from a free-kick after he was brought down just outside the area. He stepped up to the set piece and aimed towards the bottom corner but saw the shot saved well by Armstrong.

However, it was very much third-time lucky in the game for Haughton when after Tuesday’s goalscorer Joe Rowley had a header punched clear by the Gloucester shot-stopper, Nick picked up the scraps and executed a lovely, curled strike into the bottom corner for the opener.

A frantic opening 10 minutes was followed by a quiet half an hour, with Kieran Phillips having only a half chance for the visitors, testing Chris Neal down to his right.

The Coasters did, however, make sure they went into the break strong. A clever corner routine, taken by Haughton, allowed Danny Philliskirk to flick into Bird, who was free at the back post for a first-time finish past a flurry of Gloucester shirts on the line.

Half-Time: AFC Fylde 2-0 Gloucester City   

Straight out of the blocks for the second 45, Murray’s men were straight on the attack as Connor Barrett pinged a long ball upfield for Rowley to run onto with only Armstrong to beat, though his strike from close range sailed over the bar.

The Coasters looked comfortable as Gloucester had very little to offer in terms of clear-cut chances, and the visitors had ‘keeper Liam Armstrong to thank when he kept the Coasters’ lead at just two.

With Bartosz Cybulski receiving a good ball over the top of the Tigers’ defence to run onto, he was expertly kept out by Armstrong, who was out quick to smother his shot before Haughton chipped at goal, but Armstrong managed to backpedal and claw away.

All afternoon the Coasters cruised through the 90 minutes, and there was one more opportunity for Fylde through Danny Whitehead after he tried his luck but drilled wide from 25 yards.

Full-Time: AFC Fylde 2-0 Gloucester City      

AFC Fylde: Neal; Obi, Davis, Bird; Barrett (68’ Pike), Conlan; Philliskirk, Whitehead; Haughton (79’ Delfouneso), Rowley; Cybulski (64’ Charman).

Unused subs: Whitmore, Hatfield.

Gloucester City: Armstrong, Evans, Morgan, Digie, Morgan; O’Sullivan (82’ Spence), Phillips (75’ Gyasi), Obadeyi; Hooper (45’ Dada), McHale.

Unused Subs: Holness, Jones