Fylde began the year in style and moved up to 10th in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier by beating third-placed Marine 4-0 on their own turf.
A depleted Coasters side, without Bradley Barnes, Richie Allen and James Dean, stormed into a 2-0 lead after 21 minutes through goals from Adam Farrell and Harry Winter.
Michael Barnes secured the win with Fylde’s third on 69 minutes before Winter rounded off a perfect afternoon in Merseyside with his second of the game 12 minutes from time.
Fylde should have taken the lead inside just 30 seconds as a cross from Paul Jarvis found Barnes free to turn and shoot but it hit Jack Dorney on its way to goal and was cleared away.
Marine’s first effort came nine minutes in but goalkeeper Ben Hinchliffe comfortably gathered Liam Rice’s free kick from just outside the box.
Fylde won a free kick of their own 20 yards out three minutes later for a dangerous foul on Matty Hughes by Mariners Captain Matty Brown and Farrell expertly curled his shot around a six-man wall and past the outstretched Callum Williams to make it 1-0.
Danny Mitchley and Nick Rogan couldn’t make the most of their chances to equalise soon after before Fylde found themselves 2-0 up after 21 minutes.
Barnes sent a great cross towards Paul Jarvis at the back post but the ball was headed into the path of Winter by a Marine defender and he struck a venomous shot low and hard into the back of the Marine goal.
Rogan had a shot tipped over the bar by Hinchliffe on the half hour but the visitors should have been three-up a minute later as a poor pass back to the goalkeeper was intercepted by Farrell but his lob from a tight angle agonisingly hit the post and the defence were able to tidy things up.
Former Coaster Andy Fowler should have halved the deficit seven minutes before the break but could only hit the side netting after some good build up play from the home side.
Into the second half and Marine changed things around, forcing Fylde to play five at the back, and enjoyed a good spell of possession for the first 20 minutes or so but were unable to create any real clear-cut opportunities.
Fowler, Mitchley and Alan Burton all had chances each to reduce Fylde’s lead but the best chance fell for Burton on 57 minutes. His header was tipped onto the post and out of play by Hinchliffe, but the referee gave a goal kick instead of a corner – much to the annoyance of every Mariners fan behind the goal.
However, the visitors sealed the win on 69 minutes when Barnes notched his fifth goal in as many games, and 16th of the season, pouncing on another poor back pass and firing past Williams to make it 3-0.
Winter then rubbed further salt into Marine’s wounds by adding his second and Fylde’s fourth of the match with 12 minutes to go heading home a brilliant cross from Jarvis.
AFC Fylde: Hinchliffe, Haslam, Sumner, Steel, Taylor (C), Hughes, Dorney, Winter (Bannister 80), Farrell (Kusaloka 86), M. Barnes (Booth 76), Jarvis; not used: Carsley.