AFC Fylde made it back-to-back wins with a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Boston United at Mill Farm Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The only goal of the game came ten minutes from time through the influential Nick Haughton after he saw his initial penalty saved by Peter Crook, before tapping home the rebound.
The game started well, with both sides playing with plenty of endeavor and purpose, and it took until the 7th minute for Coasters’ winger Ben Tollitt to register the first shot of the game. With two goals under his belt already this season, the winger cut inside and would have made it three if it wasn’t for Luke Shiels’ important block.
Nick Haughton drilled the resulting corner into the path of an unmarked Danny Philliskirk, but the midfielder’s free header bounced inches wide of the far post.
The Coasters were playing with a swagger, but it was the visitors who almost broke the deadlock on 20 minutes. Nick Haughton was dispossessed in his own half, allowing Danny Elliott to race clear down the centre of the pitch, but he dragged his left-footed effort wide of the target, much to the relief of Haughton.
Alex Whitmore, who wore the captain’s armband for the first time in a competitive game at Mill Farm, was unable to connect with another teasing Haughton delivery before his defensive partner Jamie Stott curled a left-footed effort just over Crook’s crossbar from a tight angle.
The Pilgrims fought back and five minutes later the impressive Tom Platt glanced a header from a corner wide of the target, despite being positioned to do better.
A slick interchange between Haughton and Luke Burke gave the latter some space to pull the trigger from range, but the full-backs execution didn’t match his ambition.
The remainder of the half ebbed and flowed, without either side able to carve out any clear-cut opportunities that would lead to a breakthrough.
HT: AFC Fylde 0-0 Boston United
Another chance fell Burke’s way in the 48th minute, but this time Crook was on hand to block his low drive before Scott Garner threw himself in front of the rebound.
Joe Piggott, who penned a short-term contract prior to kick-off, was presented with a chance to net a debut goal, however, Boston captain Shiels was on hand to block his effort from 5-yards out.
Jim Bentley threw on the experienced Stephen Dobbie on the hour mark, and the Scotsman made an immediate impact, seeing his first-time strike go wide moments after being introduced.
It took until the 70th minute for the next opening to arrive, and it took an excellent stop by Chris Neal to keep out Paul Green’s vicious drive.
Fylde’s number one was at it again a minute later, this time diving low to his left to palm away Elliott’s effort after the strikers were given too much room in the penalty area.
‘Be patient’ was the advice from the Coasters’ bench, and that patience paid off when Nick Haughton was brought down in the penalty area on 79 minutes, and to the dismay of the traveling Pilgrims, the referee pointed to the spot.
Picking himself up off the ground, Haughton stepped up from twelve yards and saw his low penalty saved by Crook, but he reacted quickest to slot home the rebound to put his side a goal up heading into the closing stages.
Boston’s best chance of the game came with one minute to play, and it was substitute Jordan Burrow who rose highest to meet a cross. Scampering down to his left, the impressive Neal denied the target man and held onto his clean sheet.
The away side tried to push more bodies forward, but Fylde held on for all three points and extended their long unbeaten home record that stems back to the 2019/20 National League season.
FT: AFC Fylde 1-0 Boston United