The Coasters’ unbeaten run came to an end against Leamington after a 2-1 defeat at the Your Co-Op Community Stadium.

Things got off to a great start when Nick Haughton put Fylde ahead after 15 minutes when he rippled the back of the net with a left-footed strike from distance.

However, after Connor Barrett saw red, Leamington went on to claim all three points after Joe Clarke met a Devon Kelley-Evans corner before Tom Hewlett despatched from the penalty spot after Will Hatfield was penalised for handball.

Andy Taylor initially made four changes to the side that progressed into the FA Cup First Round, with Pierce Bird, Danny Whitehead, Nick Haughton and Luke Charman coming in for the suspended Alex Whitmore, Connor Barrett Curtis Weston and Danny Rowe.

However, Taylor was forced into making a change just before kick-off, with Connor Barrett replacing Kyle Morrison.

The Coasters made a bright start to the game after Pierce Bird clipped a ball over the top of the Leamington defence for Siya Ligendza to chase down. He cut inside and looked for the bottom corner, which Callum Hawkins watched drift wide.

From a corner, Fylde almost took the lead through Danny Philliskirk when he was left all alone at the back post to head towards the bottom corner, which Hawkins saved well down to his right.

That chance was before Haughton was allowed time to drive forward and unleash a rasping effort at goal, but that was blocked, and Leamington relieved any pressure.

Despite Leamington having two half chances snuffed out by Chris Neal & Pierce Bird, the Coasters found the game’s opener when a long ball upfield from Harry Davis was knocked down by Tom Walker and into the path of Haughton, who took one touch to the side and smashed left-footed into the back of the net.

Everything was going Fylde’s way, and this time Haughton was allowed time to run at the Brakes’ defence to eventually feed Charman in on goal, only for him to force Hawkins into making a smart stop at his near post.

Half-Time: Leamington FC 0-1 AFC Fylde

There wasn’t much to write home about in the opening 15 minutes or so of the second half, other than Luke Charman going into the book for a little time-wasting.

After Danny Philliskirk had thrown his body in front of an Adam Walker strike, Rhakeem Reid was left free at the back post to fizz an effort across goal and wide, leaving Neal rooted to the spot.

Leamington were having joy in the second 45, and Devon Kelly-Evans managed to find Theo Streete from a free-kick rushing into the danger zone to connect, only to see the lineman’s flag up for offside as Neal gathered.

The next bit of drama came when Connor Barrett ran the ball out of play, and after a Leamington player rushed in, an incident occurred, which resulted in Barrett seeing red.

Moments later, the man advantage and Leamington’s pressure told after a corner into the six-yard was met by the Brakes captain Clarke, who rose above everyone and headed in off the bar.

The game was turned on its head in the dying embers when the referee deemed Will Hatfield to have handled inside the area, but despite the midfielder showing the red mark on his chest to the match official Daniel Lamport, the decision stood.

Substitute Tom Hewlett then stepped up and converted, striking past Neal from 12 yards out.

Full-Time: Leamington FC 2-1 AFC Fylde

Leamington FC: Hawkins, Meredith, Hall, Clarke, Streete, Lane, usher-Shipway (88’ Cook), Maye, Reid (79’ Hewlett), Walker, Kelly-Evans.

Unused subs: Cook, Taylor, Mace, English

AFC Fylde: Neal, Morrison, Davis, Bird, Conlan, Philliskirk, Haughton, Walker (62’ Hatfield), Whitehead (77’ Weston), Ligendza (69’ Rowe), Charman.

Unused subs: Bird, Barrett.