Nick Haughton struck a brace as The Coasters returned to National League North action in style, defeating fellow high-flyers York City 3-1 inside the brand new LNER Community Stadium.
Alex Whitmore also got his name on the scoresheet to put his side ahead before half-time, and despite Sean Newton responding for The Minstermen, it was Jim Bentley’s men who reigned supreme.
The Coasters came into the game following a 5-week break, with their last competitive fixture being the impressive 2-0 victory at AFC Telford on January,9. Jim Bentley also took his place in the the dugout for the first time since his heart surgery last year.
As the rain poured, it was The Coasters who started the game on the front foot, seeing a goal disallowed inside ten minutes following a well-worked corner that caught the hosts off guard.
On 12 minutes, Nick Haughton almost got his side off to the perfect start, finding himself in acres of space 25 yards out from goal. He showed his disappointment as he saw his right-footed effort sail harmlessly over the bar.
The hosts fought back into the game, and it was Gabby Mcgill who almost capitalised on a mix up between Chris Neal and Luke Conlan. However, the Dunfermline Athletic loanee was unable to convert from a tight angle.
Ben Tollitt started to stamp his authority on the game with ten minutes of the first-half to play, firstly seeing a curling effort shave the post before stinging the palms of Jameson moments later.
It took until the 45th minute for the opening goal of the game to arrive, and it went the way of AFC Fylde. A drilled Haughton corner was bravely flicked towards the back-post by Jack Sampson, and the ball fell perfectly for Alex Whitmore to slot home. The defender’s delight was plain to see, as he opened his account for the season.
HALF TIME: York City 0-1 AFC Fylde
Two late challenges from winger, Harry Bunn, were the highlight of the opening ten minutes in the second-half.
Then came The Coasters’ second goal, with 57 minutes on the clock. An outrageous long-range free-kick from Haughton smashed against the crossbar, before rebounding off Jameson’s back and across the line.
AFC Fylde’s jubilance was short-lived, seeing their two-goal advantage halved just 5 minutes later. David Perkins was penalised for tripping Jack Redshaw inside the area on 62 minutes, giving skipper Sean Newton the chance to drill home from the spot. That he did, sending Neal the wrong way and, once again, giving his side a foothold in the game.
As that goal sparked York into life, they began their search for an equaliser, upping the tempo and getting the ball into substitute Redshaw who was causing problems. It was the full-debutant Sam Osborne, though, who carved out a fabulous chance to extend Fylde’s lead, but Jameson did well to divert his strike over the bar.
All three points were sealed on 77 minutes, when another Haughton wonder strike killed off York’s hopes of a comeback. There was no crossbar needed this time, as the midfielder curled the ball expertly into the top corner from 25-yards out.
It was the Fylde defence who were the busiest in the dying embers of the game, with York looking to pull one back. Pond and Whitmore stood strong though, soaking up the York pressure and marshalling their side to a huge three points on the road.
FULL TIME: York City 1-3 AFC Fylde