National League North
AFC Fylde 1-0 Spennymoor Town
Cruel finale as Haughton wins it for the Coasters
A late solo goal from Nick Haughton cruelly ended Moors’ unbeaten league run on a night of fine margins at Mill Farm.
Haughton slaloming run across the box ended with a low shot which beat goalkeeper Dale Eve, maintaining Fylde’s superb start to the campaign.
It was a cruel blow for Moors who defended heroically and posed a threat throughout, with substitute Mark Anderson coming close to equalising in the dying stages.
Jason Ainsley made three alterations to the side who started against Gloucester just three days earlier, with Ben McKenna, Tyler Forbes and Adriano Moke coming in.
Stephen Thompson, Ryan Hall and Jason Kennedy dropped to the bench.
Despite the home side dominating the first ten minutes of the game, it was Spennymoor who created the first chance of the night.
A positive run forward from Jamie Spencer and subsequent pass to Ben McKenna drew a foul, with Nathan Buddle seeing his close range header saved well by Fylde goalkeeper Chris Neal.
The looping rebound almost dropped kindly to Glen Taylor on the line, but the Coasters managed to scramble the ball out of danger.
Fylde’s early dominance of the ball faded as the half wore on, with their only chance of note coming from a long range Ben Tollitt strike which flew over the bar.
A first half full of intensity but lacking in clear cut chances threatened to produce an opening goal when a corner dropped to Nathan Pond at the back post, but his goal bound shot was bravely blocked by Nathan Buddle.
The lively McKenna thought he had given Spennymoor a very early second half advantage when he stuck from a tight angle, but Pond did superbly to slide in and deny the winger.
Moors’ positive and bright play continued as the second half progressed, with Spencer and McLean both seeing long range efforts zip over and wide respectively.
Fylde rarely threatened a solid Moors backline during a scrappy second half, however, Eve was called into action when he tipped Tollitt’s shot around the post.
As the game headed towards its conclusion, a flurry of yellow cards summed up a disjointed battle which Moors edged courtesy of a disciplined and organised performance.
However, with the match on a knife edge, a moment of individual brilliance from Haughton broke the deadlock.
Moors head to Southport on Saturday before a home clash with Blyth Spartans the following Tuesday evening.
2. Luke Burke
3. Luke Conlan
5. Nathan Pond
6. Alex Whitmore
7. Ben Tollitt
8. Danny Philliskirk
9. Jordan Hulme (Willoughby 72)
10. Nick Haughton
14. Nathan Shaw
17. Dave Perkins
Subs: Mondal, Sanders, Lussey, Willoughby, Ogle.
13. Dale Eve
3. Adam Blakeman
2. Tyler Forbes
5. Nathan Buddle
6. James Curtis
8. Adriano Moke (Anderson 65)
11. Ben McKenna
16. Jamie Spencer
9. Glen Taylor
10. Rob Ramshaw
21. Scott McLean
Subs: Tait, Hall, Anderson, Kennedy, Thompson.
Moors head back to the North West on Saturday with a visit to Southport for the first time since September 2018.