Leamington 0 AFC Fylde 2: Coasters claim three points on their travels

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The Coasters started 2022 in positive fashion with victory at Leamington on their return to National League North action.

Sam Osborne set the ball rolling with a superb effort from just inside the area before Alex Whitmore doubled his side’s lead with a powerful header from close range.

Fylde boss Jim Bentley made four changes to the team which drew against Chester at the end of December.

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Osborne, Jack Evans, Luke Joyce and Danny Whitehead all came in, replacing Kieran Lloyd, David Perkins, Jordan Hulme and Jack Sampson.

AFC Fylde celebrate Alex Whitmore's goal at Leamington Picture: Steve McLellanAFC Fylde celebrate Alex Whitmore's goal at Leamington Picture: Steve McLellan
AFC Fylde celebrate Alex Whitmore's goal at Leamington Picture: Steve McLellan
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The game saw the Coasters control the opening 15 minutes, with the best chance coming after Nick Haughton was brought down 25 yards from goal.

The midfielder stepped up but struck the ball straight down the throat of Jake Weaver.

New signing Whitehead looked bright from the start and nearly scored the opener.

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He drove towards goal before dropping his shoulder and unleashing an effort towards the bottom corner, only for Weaver to get down and save well.

Despite Fylde’s bright start, the hosts had a chance of their own when Steph Morley crossed towards Kelsey Mooney, whose timid header was gathered by Bobby Jones.

After a quiet spell, the Coasters made their dominance count through Osborne.

The winger received the ball just inside the 18-yard box before chipping an effort over Weaver and into the net.

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Five minutes before the break, Dan Meredith found himself in unfamiliar territory when he beat Ben Tollitt outside the area before sending a left-footed effort at goal, which Jones held with ease.

That maintained their 1-0 lead at the break, after which Leamington came out looking to prove a point.

Morley picked up the ball and tried his luck from distance but Jones kept hold of the strike.

However, the Coasters turned on the style when it was needed.

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A well-worked corner eventually fell to Danny Philliskirk, who worked his way to the byline and crossed into the six-yard box where Whitmore was waiting to head in.

Another half-chance came for the home side when Whitmore brought down Mooney 35 yards from goal.

However, when Morley stepped up to take the set-piece, Whitmore was there to clear the danger.

In the dying minutes of the game, there was time for Fylde to have one more chance.

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Tollitt zipped a ball across the face of goal to Sampson, at the back post, but several Leamington shirts retreated to the line to deny him.

Leamington: Weaver, Meredith, Morley, Clarke (English 71), Morrison, Lane, Kelly-Evans (Cook 79), Wilding, Mooney, Barkers (Gittings 71), Turner. Subs not used: Parker, Mace.

AFC Fylde: Jones, Pike, Whitmore, Stott, Evans, Joyce, Philliskirk, Whitehead (Robinson 86), Tollitt, Osborne (Shaw 75), Haughton (Sampson 80). Subs not used: Obi, Gregson.

Referee: Matthew Scholes.

Attendance: 505.

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