AFC Fylde secured a second straight win to move out of the bottom four of the Vanarama National League after a fantastic 4-0 victory away at high-flying Gateshead. 

Nick Haughton scored twice in the opening nine minutes, first from a free-kick and then from the spot, to put the Coasters firmly in control at half-time. 

Goals during added time in the second half from Siya Ligendza and Jon Ustabasi completed the resounding triumph at the Gateshead International Stadium.

Chris Beech named an unchanged starting XI to face Gateshead in the North East, with Danny Philliskirk coming onto the bench for Joe Rowley.

Immediately from kick-off, Fylde were on the attack, with Josh Kay teeing up Danny Whitehead after a surging run into the box, but he could only shoot over the crossbar.

The Coasters were then in front on four minutes, with Haughton striking a right-footed free-kick from 20-yards, up over the wall, which bent into Archie Mair’s top right-corner.

It got even better for Fylde with nine minutes played after referee Paul Cooper awarded a penalty when Kay’s attempt from Ustabasi’s cross was handled by Louis Storey. Up-stepped Haughton, who powered his spot-kick in from 12 yards high into the top-right corner beyond Mair.

Pushing for a third, Connor Barrett tried his luck from distance, but his attempt towards the near post went narrowly wide. 

The Coasters had some defending to do midway through the first half, but Sam Graham was in the right place at the right time to thwart Stephen Wearne following Regan Booty’s pass.

Wearne was involved in the thick of the action again when he controlled a long ball to set Luke Hannant free – however, after taking a touch, his shot travelled straight at Theo Richardson for a smart save.

Towards the end of the half, the Heed had a couple of chances at goal. Joint league top scorer Marcus Dinanga hit over Richardson’s crossbar before Hannant’s attempt went into the side-netting at the back post from Kyran Lofthouse’s ball across the box.

The final chance of the half fell to Rob Elliott’s side, as Richardson did well to keep out Kenton Richardson from 25 yards out. 

Half-Time: Gateshead 0-2 AFC Fylde 

Minutes after the interval, Max Conway had to superbly clear off the line to prevent Wearne from halving the deficit after striking through a crowd of players.

A good spell from Gateshead meant Fylde were put under significant pressure. Captain Greg Olley threaded an excellent pass through to Callum Whelan, but his strike was off target before Harry Davis then had to head over his own crossbar for a corner from Olley’s free-kick.

Searching to get back into the contest, Richardson saved from substitute Connor McBride in a one-on-one situation to ensure the Coasters remained two to the good. 

Moments later, Fylde had the ball in the back of the net with 66 minutes on the clock when Luke Charman headed in from Davis’ ball, but it was ruled out for offside.

Beech’s men survived a scare in the closing 20 minutes when Olley’s pinpoint cross was headed over by Wearne from close range, 

Substitute Ligendza almost added a third Fylde goal after profiting from brilliant play when Barrett weaved past several white shirts to slide the Coasters substitute through, but Storey threw himself in the way of his shot, which went behind for a corner.

Gateshead threatened again, and Davis was forced to make a well-timed last-ditch challenge on Wearne, who was ready to strike at Richardson in the box.

Barrett intercepted a loose pass from Joe Grayson in his own half to drive upfield and into the box before firing across goal, which Mair saved.

Coasters Interim Head Coach Beech was sent off late on, but Fylde scored a third on 93 minutes when Ligendza cut inside to drill into the bottom right corner.

Fylde weren’t done there and added a fourth when Kay broke forward to play in Ustabasi, who found the bottom left corner with a fine finish to seal three points on a memorable day in Tyneside, which moved the Coasters out of the bottom four. 

Gateshead FC: Mair, Richardson, Storey, Grayson, Lofthouse, Hannant (Hunter 75’), Whelan (McBride 61’), Booty, Wearne, Olley (Rutledge 82’), Dinanga

Subs not used: Allan, Chadwick

AFC Fylde: Richardson, Barrett, Graham, Davis, Conway, Khumbeni (O’Kane 60’), Whitehead, Haughton (Philliskirk 82’), Ustabasi, Kay, Charman (Ligendza 69’).

Subs not used: Obi, Omotayo