The Coasters made it seven games unbeaten and returned to the top of the table with a 3-1 victory over Curzon Ashton at Mill Farm, thanks to goals from Mo Faal (x2) and Nick Haughton.
It started perfectly for the Coasters when after being brought down inside the box by George Waring and the referee pointing to the spot, Haughton picked himself up to despatch into the bottom corner from 12 yards out.
Curzon were sniffing out openings of their own, and following a few half chances in front of Chris Neal’s goal, a ball flicked to the back post was pounced upon by Hayden Campbell and slotted into the back of the net.
However, to the Coasters’ rescue was on-loan striker Mo Faal, who towered above everyone on the stroke of half-time to powerfully head home Connor Barrett’s inch-perfect cross.
Settling the scoreline and points, up popped Faal again when after Barrett’s surging run and lethal effort on goal, he nodded in on the rebound from close range to seal his brace and another Coasters win.
Adam Murray made two changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Chester FC last time out, with Jordan Cranston & Tom Walker replacing Danny Philliskirk & Pierce Bird.
Fylde started bright and were looking to create a clear opening and control from the off. Mo Faal, with some brilliant play, cleverly flicked Connor Barrett’s clipped ball over the heads of the Curzon defence to set himself for a first-time shot, which he zipped across the surface but into the gloves of Chris Renshaw.
Despite half chances for George Waring, who headed into Chris Neal’s hands from a corner and Walker volleying into Neal’s counterpart’s arms, the Coasters took the lead from the spot.
After Nick Haughton nipped in front of Waring and was brought down under a challenge from Curzon’s number 12, the midfielder picked himself up and converted from 12 yards out.
Around five minutes later and following a foul on Haughton 25 yards from goal, Mo Faal had the ball in the back of the net after heading in the set-piece, which initially struck the bar, but referee George Laflin quickly ruled it out for a foul in the build-up.
The visitors were putting some nice passages of play together, and it didn’t take long for them to provide a slight scare inside Mill Farm when a cross from the right was turned in by Tom Peers, but he looked up to see the linesman’s flag risen for offside.
As the interval approached, the best action was to come as both sides added to the scoreline just a few minutes apart.
Curzon were after making a game of it, as they always do when facing the Coasters, and when Craig Mahon’s cross from the right wasn’t cleared by the Coasters, Campbell was left unmarked to slot in at the back post.
However, the fighting spirit from Murray’s men shone through yet again after Connor Barrett produced wonders for the second week in a row, this time curling a teasing cross towards the towering Faal for him to powerfully head in and leave Renshaw with little chance in the Curzon goal.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde 2-1 Curzon Ashton
So far, the start of the second half wasn’t as frantic as the first, but there was a chance for Conlan to add another to the Coasters’ tally.
A floated ball to the back post prompted Conlan into attempting a first-time effort at goal, though after mishitting the shot, he had a second bite of the cherry and stung the palms of Renshaw at the near post, who batted away.
Although Murray’s side didn’t add another sooner, they did after 68 minutes when Barrett went on a gut-busting run through the middle of two Curzon Ashton shirts to unleash a strike at goal. Renshaw initially saved, but Faal pounced quickly to head in the rebound.
One thing for sure is Haughton will be wondering how he didn’t walk away from Mill Farm with the match ball.
He struck a thunderous 30-yard strike at goal from the left before hitting an identical one from the right and saw both kept out by Renshaw, who tipped onto the woodwork each time.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde 3-1 Curzon Ashton
AFC Fylde: Neal, Obi, Whitmore, Conlan, Cranston (68’ Bird), Barrett, Weston (60’ Hatfield), Whitehead, Haughton, Walker (55’ Charman), Faal.
Unused subs: Davis, Rowley.
Curzon Ashton: Renshaw, Poscha, Matthews, Hall (83’ Jessop), Walker, Peers, Hayhurst, Waring, Mahon, Barton, Campbell (68’ Smales-Braithwaite).
Unused Subs: Armstrong, Richards.