Goals from Jon Ustabasi (x2) and Josh Kay earned AFC Fylde a dominant 3-0 victory over 10-man Oldham Athletic at Mill Farm in the Vanarama National League at Mill Farm.
Ustabasi opened the scoring for Fylde with 11 minutes played before Kay struck a Coasters’ second two minutes later, with Oldham having their skipper Liam Hogan sent off.
Ustabasi powered in his brace in stoppage time at the end of the clash to round off a memorable night for the Coasters.
Chris Beech named an unchanged starting line-up to face Oldham Athletic, with Siya Ligendza the only change on the bench.
Prior to kick-off, an impeccably held minute silence took place for Manchester United and England legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who sadly passed away on Saturday, aged 86.
Fylde started brightly against Micky Mellon’s in-form Latics, and Danny Whitehead’s cross aimed for Luke Charman was hurriedly put behind for a corner by Shaun Hobson
The resulting set-piece saw Nick Haughton play a neat one-two with Max Conway at a short corner to whip into a crowded box, which Ustabasi glanced straight at goalkeeper Matt Hudson.
Kay was next to try his luck, weaving his way upfield beyond blue shirts and hitting a rising effort from range just over Hudson’s left-upright.
The Coasters were in front on 11 minutes after Ustabasi drove at Mark Kitching into the box from the right to powerfully strike right-footed across goal, which beat Hudson to find the bottom left corner.
Two minutes later, Fylde doubled their lead. Connor Barrett fizzed in a cross from the right, which evaded everyone in the box and fell to Kay at the back post, who took a touch and arrowed a powerful strike under Hudson to find the bottom right corner.
The Coasters had some defending to do midway through the half. Firstly, Sam Graham beat James Norwood in the air to clear a dangerous ball before Harry Davis headed Kitching’s deep cross away.
Fylde were denied a third goal in the final 10 minutes of the half. Charman’s shot in the box was thwarted by a challenge in the box from Hogan, with Kay following in on the rebound, eventually clipping the post after the ball bounced off Hudson and was cleared off the line by Shaun Hobson.
The Latics were reduced to 10 men on 39 minutes when Hogan received a second yellow card from referee Michael Barlow for bringing down Charman and preventing him from breaking towards goal.
Haughton went close for Fylde late in the opening 45, turning Kay’s enticing cross into the six-yard box at goal, but Hudson pushed the ball off the line.
In first-half added time, Nathan Sheron sent a shot across the turf, which went wide of Theo Richardson’s bottom left post.
The final chance fell to Fylde, and after positive passing play between Kay and Haughton teed up Nelson Khumbeni to curl left-footed from the edge of the box, straight into the hands of Hudson.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde 2-0 Oldham Athletic
Oldham began the second half aiming for a response, with Graham and Davis having to defend consecutive corners from Josh Lundstram and Kitching corners.
The Coasters turned defence into attack when Ustabasi won possession in his own half to set his side onto a quick breakaway, which ended with his low shot saved by Hudson, who was then forced to keep out Ustabasi and Charman before Haughton had a shot well saved.
With 20 minutes to play, Mark Shelton profited from Graham’s tame pass to pounce on the loose ball, but his effort from just outside the box went narrowly past Richardson’s bottom left-post.
Substitutes Joe Rowley and Ligendza combined late on, but Hudson was able to claim the cross from Fylde’s number seven before Fylde had a late penalty claim waved away when Will Sutton tripped Haughton in the box, with the referee deciding against awarding a spot kick.
There was still time for one more in stoppage time when Ustabasi fired in his second of the game and Fylde’s third, thumping a shot from outside of the box into Hudson’s top left corner.
Subs not used: Obi, Omotayo.
Oldham Athletic: Hudson, Kitching, Hogan ©, Hobson, Shelton, Lundstram (Tollitt 66), Sheron, Green, Hope (McGahey 40), Sutton, Norwood
Subs not used: Norman, Fondop, Reid