Harriers slipped to back-to-back league defeats as costly mistakes saw them fall to a 2-1 reverse at league leaders AFC Fylde.

Russ Penn’s men matched their host for large spells but were left to rue errors for goals at the beginning and end of the contest that handed the hosts the three points. In the interim, Joe Foulkes had levelled with Harriers looking good for at least a share of the spoils.

Prior to the game Harriers were able to bolster their back-line with the return of Nathan Cameron from injury as he was brought in to replace Keith Lowe, who’d dropped to the bench.

Any relief to have that injury issue resolved was quickly turned back into despair inside a nightmare nine-minute spell at the start of the game which saw Harriers go behind and lose Sterling to what looked to be an injury of his own.

Fylde were impressive in the early throws of this one, looking to pounce on any visiting mistake. When Martin dallied on the ball dangerously close to his own area, Haughton seized on the indecision and stole it, striding past numerous Harriers players as he angled his run inside the area, relatively unchallenged as he fired a shot beyond Luke Simpson and into the net.

Moments later, a glum looking Sterling was forced off with what was presumably an injury, replaced by White.

The remainder of the first half was, in truth, a non-event. The hosts remained a threat on the break through Tollitt who twice hit efforts off target, but they were calm and composed and managed to smother any Harriers threat.

The visitors, past the half hour, did see deflected efforts wide from White and Austin as they searched for a first serious chance on goal, but they were closer just after the restart when Morgan-Smith’s header from Austin’s cross went over.

Just after, danger man Tollitt fired in another angled drive that Bajrami deflected behind, before Harriers drew level when White’s low cross found its way to Foulkes at the far post who rifled a firm finish past Neal and into the net to notch for the second league game in succession.

Neither side were never able to run away with the game as it kept swinging from end to end. Either side of the hour, Haughton had a brace of chances and saw one attempt met by a save from Simpson’s legs, and the latter a free-kick that bent just wide of the far corner.

Simpson had looked to have secured his side something from the game when his great double save thwarted a Coasters counter on 79 minutes. Haughton, through on goal, passed to Tollitt who bent a shot towards goal that Simpson parried excellently. The ball fell at the feet of Haughton who’d carried on his run, but the stopper smothered the ball.

Just seven minutes from time, however, a lot of harriers’ hard work was undone as they switched off to the danger of sub Stephen Dobbie, the veteran striker able to take the ball into his stride and pass it coolly beyond Simpson who was helpless to stop it.

Hemmings and Morgan-Smith did get headers in at goal in the dying moments but neither threatened a second equaliser as Harriers were left to rue what might have been.

Harriers: Simpson, Richards, Foulkes, Cameron, Bajrami (Bell 87), Martin, Montrose (Lowe 73), Austin, Morgan-Smith, Hemmings, Sterling (White 9).

Subs not used: Emery, Penny.

Attendance: 1,120

Referee: Richard Holmes