AFC Fylde 3 Eastleigh 1: Vital victory for Coasters in televised tussle

Ryan Croasdale scores Fylde's vital third goal against Eastleigh
Ryan Croasdale scores Fylde's vital third goal against Eastleigh

AFC Fylde ended their seven-match winless run with a much-needed victory in front of the BT Sport cameras to lift themselves out of the bottom four in the Vanarama National League.

READ MORE: Fylde boss Challinor wishes every game was on TV

Fylde gave a debut to Dan Lavercombe, replacing James Montgomery in goal, while Kurt Willoughby was rewarded for his two goals in the previous match at Yeovil with a starting place up front.
Dan Bradley made a goalscoring return to the starting 11 in place of James Craigen as Fylde were again unable to select right-back Tyler Forbes as his signing still awaited international clearance.
Willoughby formed an energetic front two with Jordan Williams as Fylde started strongly in their first home game since August.
The in-form Williams went close to opening the scoring after getting on the end of Scott Duxbury’s fine cross but he headed just wide.
Despite this bright start, Fylde almost found themselves behind when Rob Atkinson rose highest at a corner only to see his header bounce back off of the bar.
After a stoppage in play which saw an assistant referee replaced by the fourth official, the next chance fell to Fylde but Duxbury's effort from an acute angle was well stopped by keeper Max Stryjek.
A slick, free-flowing move which encouraged the home support saw Bradley find Danny Rowe on the edge of the box but his effort was blocked.
The deadlock was broken on 34 minutes as Bradley bombed forward in his new role down the right and powered in a shot which took a deflection and looped over Stryjek.
After a nasty injury forced Duxbury to leave the field, Fylde switched to a back four with Bradley and Mark Yeates, who joined the fray against his former club, as makeshift full-backs.
Eastleigh applied pressure but Fylde survived the six minutes of first-half stoppage time, though Marcus Barnes' effort crept just wide.
The Spitfires continued their bombardment after be break and were level three minutes into the second half.
Rowe conceded a free-kick out wide and Jack Payne's low cross was despatched by the onrushing Danny Hollands.
The visitors remained in the ascendancy and Fylde needed something special to regain the initiative. It was provided by Williams, whose fourth goal in as many games restored their lead on 57 minutes.
Coming in off of the right wing, Williams beat two men before thundering a 25-yard strike into the corner of the net.
The goalscorer then took up the left wing-back role as Nick Haughton replaced Willoughby and Fylde reverted to a back five.
With the game finely balanced, the Coasters knew they needed a third to wrap up a first victory since August 10 and it came in the 77th minute.
Bradley made a marauding run and picked out Rowe, who did well in the box to find Ryan Croasdale in support.
The midfielder had time to control the ball and poke his shot past a sea of blue shirts scrambling to make a block.
Fylde boss Dave Challinor said: “We needed that and we needed something to kickstart us. Hopefully one win will become two on Tuesday.
“We worked a lot this week and we spoke about our aims and ambitions.
“We need to put a run together. Our aims are still the same but we’ve made it more difficult for ourselves.
“This will do us a world of good. Hopefully we can improve and give a really good performance on Tuesday.”
The win sees Fylde climb two places to 19th, overtaking Eastleigh. The Coasters are replaced in the bottom four by Wrexham, who visit Mill Farm on Tuesday night.

Fylde: Lavercombe, Bradley, Whitmore, Byrne, Jameson (Ngwatala 81), Duxbury (Yeates 37), Croasdale, Philliskirk, Rowe, Willoughby (Haughton 68), Williams; subs not used: Montgomery, Green.
Eastleigh: Stryjek, Partington, Green, Atkinson, Boyce, McKnight (Seaman 65), Payne, Miley, Williamson, Holland, Barnes (Rendell 72); Subs not used: Smart, Flinter, Bearwish.
Referee: Martin Woods