AFC Fylde hit five to secure another important three points in the National League North after beating Leamington FC 5-1 at Mill Farm.
Things got off to a dream start for the Coasters when Nick Haughton picked out Luke Conlan at the back post for a close-range header after just 55 seconds for an early lead.
Although Leamington threatened with half chances through Adam Walker and Dan Meredith, Fylde had a second when Haughton converted from the spot following a foul on Luke Charman inside the area before the number 10 added his second moments later, finishing off a lovely passage of play and Conlan cross.
After the restart, it took a while for both sides to find their rhythm again, but once Murray’s men did, Haughton grabbed his hat-trick after pouncing on a mistake in the Leamington backline to slot under Ted Cann.
Leamington did pull a goal back, though, when Dan Turner was allowed to travel through the Coasters’ defence to finish past Neal before Haughton added his fourth of the afternoon in the 82nd minute, firing past Cann and into the bottom corner.
Adam Murray made just one change to the side that secured victory over Boston United in the Coasters’ last outing, with Connor Barrett coming in to replace Dan Pike. There was also a spot on the bench for Siya Ligendza after a return from injury.
The Coasters made a blistering start to proceedings after nice build-up play led to Nick Haughton running into the area and clipping a ball to the back post for Conlan to run onto and head in.
Leamington needed the points to have any chance of National League North survival, and they gave manager Paul Holleran a reaction after the Coasters’ fast start.
Adam Walker broke through the Fylde backline and aimed an effort towards Chris Neal’s far post and wide before seeing the linesman’s flag up for offside, with Dan Meredith then dispossessing Danny Whitehead and curling wide from the edge of the area moments later.
As the game fell quiet for the next ten minutes, a long ball up field from Neal was taken down beautifully by Luke Charman, who turned, drove at goal and fired into the gloves of Ted Cann.
However, the Coasters took real control of the half and game, extending their lead by a further two.
Alex Whitmore managed to thread a ball into the feet of Charman inside the area, who turned and was brought down by Meredith. Haughton stepped up to the penalty and converted into the bottom corner.
It took just three more minutes for Fylde to give themselves a healthy lead going into the break following a lovely passage of play.
After Chris Neal’s kick was flicked out wide to Emeka Obi and onto Joe Rowley, he found Haughton free outside the area. Under pressure from Meredith, the midfielder flicked the ball out wide to Conlan before bursting into the area and turning in the full-back’s first-time cross.
There was a glimmer of hope for the visitors on the stroke of half-time when a free-kick into the box was turned at goal by Jack Edwards, but he was denied by an athletic Neal stop, who sprung across his line and tipped around the post.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde 3-0 Leamington FC
Following a quiet start to the second 45, the Coasters added another after 58 minutes when a mistake by Jack Lane saw him launch the ball into the air and towards Cann, but Haughton pounced to get there first, touch down beautifully, and slot into the back of the net.
Despite the Coasters looking comfortable, the Brakes managed to pull one back with what looked like a consolation goal as Dan Turner was allowed to run through the Fylde defence and finish past Neal.
It was all goals and no chances in the second half, and that saw Haughton add his fourth and the Coasters’ fifth of the afternoon when Charman beat Edwards for pace to eventually pick out the midfielder, who dropped a shoulder, sent Cann the wrong and smashed in from 16 yards to give the Coasters a convincing victory at Mill Farm.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde 5-1 Leamington FC
AFC Fylde: Neal, Obi, Whitmore, Davis, Conlan, Barrett, Philliskirk (65’ Hatfield), Whitehead, Haughton, Rowley (72’ Delfouneso), Charman (83’ Charman).
Unused Subs: Pike, Ligendza.
Leamington FC: Cann, Meredith, Hall, Clarke, Edwards, Lane (88’ Mace), Hulbert (60’ Kelly-Evans), Perry, Mooney (74’ Usher-Shipway), Walker, Turner.
Unused Subs: Moore, English.