THERE was no fairytale opening for York City's residency at the LNER Community Stadium as AFC Fylde came away with a 3-1 win on Tuesday night.

Also hunting promotion from National League North, Fylde started the contest the more impressive side. The game seemed to be heading into the break goalless until Alex Whitmore struck in injury time.

City's troubles were compounded just before the hour when Nick Haughton curled a free kick off the crossbar, onto Pete Jameson's back and in.

A raft of substitutions injected the Minstermen with some much-needed vigour and Jack Redshaw won a penalty which captain Sean Newton converted but Haughton curled in a superb second free kick to finish the game off.

Though Fylde started impressively sharply, they did not keep up their early performance. However, City - who, granted, have not played for more than a month - did not show enough fight and sharpness.

Steve Watson elected to start both loanee attackers Jason Gilchrist and Gabby McGill, with Jake Cassidy retiring to the bench with Olly Dyson and Jack Redshaw.

Right-back Michael Duckworth returned to the starting line-up with Harry Bunn coming back in after missing the Kidderminster Harriers game over a month ago. Paddy McLaughlin started after being a used substitute in January.

Akil Wright missed out through injury, as did Josh King.

Jim Bentley has returned to take a Fylde match for the first time after undergoing heart surgery 11 weeks ago.

Former Leamington midfielder Sam Osborne started in the centre of the park, making his second appearance since signing from the Brakes in January.

Former City loanee Kurt Willoughby started the game on the bench alongside Junior Mondal, who impressed at Whitby Town before moving to League Two outfit Forest Green Rovers.

Fylde impressed on the ball and dominated the early exchanges, scything through the City lines with sharp, limited-touch passing. Much of their play was focused down the left with pacey top scorer Ben Tollitt linking up well with Luke Conlan and Jack Sampson.

The visitors had the ball in the net from a smart short-corner routine from the left. David Perkins got away a shot from the edge of the area but the deflection it took on its way into Pete Jameson’s net came from an offside white shirt.

City had isolated forays forward, with their best chance of the opening quarter coming from a Sean Newton free kick, which curled onto the roof of the net.

The hosts were not shy about getting away efforts on goal and racked up a handful of early corners without really troubling Chris Neal’s goal.

By contrast, Fylde’s composure around the area was ominous, and had Perkins pulled the trigger after Tollitt did well to lay off a volley, he might have given Jameson more to think about than watching a misplaced pass trickle away from danger.

As the half progressed, City had pushed Fylde further back though the visitors still dominated the possession. That which York had, they did not use to full effect and too many passes went astray from all corners of the pitch.

A mix-up at the back between onrushing keeper Neal and his defender gave McGill an effort on an open goal but he curled off-target from a tight angle. He was set away by McLaughlin a minute later and had a deflected effort saved.

Tollitt got away a clean strike that dipped and caused Jameson to fumble into the path of an offside oncoming striker.

Whitmore made the breakthrough for Fylde in first-half injury time. A low cross skimmed over every head in the York box and Whitmore drifted in at the back to drill into the roof of Jameson’s net.

Harry Bunn picked up the first caution of the game for what looked a rash challenge on Nick Haughton, who dusted himself down to take the free kick. The 25-yard strike hit the crossbar and bounced off the back of Jameson into the net.

Just six minutes on, two York substitutes combined to provide a vitally swift response. A lone Jake Cassidy did well to hold the ball up and lay off Jack Redshaw arriving in support. The nippy attacker drove into the box and went down under a Fylde challenge. Newton thumped home the spot kick.

Osborne almost immediately restored Fylde’s two-goal advantage, cutting into the York area and whipping an effort, which was very well punched clear by a diving Jameson’s left hand.

The goal and substitutions seemed to bring York to life and they pushed forward with more verve. Redshaw and Dyson were among the brightest performers while there was more of a spark about Woods.

But Haughton delivered a killer blow with 10 minutes to go, curling in a right-footed free kick from range into Jameson’s top-right corner. Tollitt could have finished the job very soon after when he got on the end of a ball to the back post but put it wide.

York: Jameson 5, Duckworth 5, Tinkler 4 (Dyson 5, 60), Brown 5, Newton 6, Barrow 6, Woods 6, McLaughlin 5, Bunn 6, McGill 6 (Redshaw 6, 60), Gilchrist 5 (Cassidy 5, 54). Subs not used: Whitley, Kennedy.

Star man: Jack Redshaw. Only had half an hour but looked the most likely to positively impact the game.

Goals: Newton (64)

Yellow cards: Bunn, Newton

Fylde: Neal, Burke, Conlan, Pond, Whitmore, Tollitt, Philliskirk, Haughton (Hulme 86), Sampson, Perkins (Nolan 75), Osborne (Mondal 76). Subs not used: Willoughby, Obi.

Goals: Whitmore (45+2), Jameson OG (58), Haughton (80)

Yellow cards: Pond

Match stats for York / Fylde

Shots (on target): 3 (1) / 8 (4)

Corners: 5 / 2

Offsides: 1 / 4

Fouls: 13 / 7

Yellow cards: 2 / 1

Penalties: 1 / 0