Eastbourne Borough exited the FA Trophy as they were well-beaten by an impressive AFC Fylde outfit at Priory Lane.
Borough took the lead in the first half through Nathan Collier but a swift response from the visitors and two second half goals saw the highflying National League north outfit bank the £6,000 prize money and progress to the last 16.
It was Fylde who fashioned the first chance on five minutes. Gavin McCallum gave up possession in midfield and the ball broke to AFC Fylde’s top scorer Danny Rowe. He made inroads into the Borough penalty area but his low left-footed effort whistled inches wide of Lewis Carey’s post.
Borough though soon fashioned a chance of their own. Sam Beale collected a pass from Elliott Romain and Borough’s left side player cut into the area and his curling right footed effort was just too high to trouble the keeper.
Sam Finley, the Fylde midfielder, crashed an effort against the bar but Borough took the lead on 29 minutes.
Craig Stone pumped a long freekick into the box, Ian Simpemba rose the highest and flicked the ball on and Nathan Collier applied the finishing touch from close range.
Fylde had until that point been the better team and the visitors deservedly levelled the scores just four minutes later. Josh Langley eventually fired the ball home after a goalmouth scramble had seen Carey save two previous close range efforts.
The second arrived for Fylde just seconds after the interval. Danny Lloyd cut in from the right and unleashed a powerful left-footed shot that flew beyond Carey.
Borough were rocked but created two chances of their own. Miguel Baptist cracked an effort just wide before McCallum tricked his way beyond two defenders but his low drive from just inside the box was wide of the post.
Lloyd claimed his second of the game and the visitors’ third on the hour. Two efforts had previously been blocked by the Borough defence but it fell nicely on to Lloyd’s left foot and his well-hit low half-volley flew into the bottom corner.
Darren Lok came on as a second half substitute for Romian and Kane Haysman replaced Baptista. Their best opportunity of pulling one back came after a defensive slip from Tom Hannigan. McCallum pounced and surged into the box, his attempt deflected the ball to Haysman but by that time Fylde had defenders back and the danger was cleared.
Fylde added a fourth through Rowe and it was a scoreline that didn’t flatter the visitors. They must be considered serious contenders to win this famous old non-league cup competition come the Wembley final in May.
Borough: Carey, Stone, Beale, Baptista (Haysman, 67), Simpemba, Khinda-John, Hamilton, Collier, Pinney, McCallum, Romain (Lok, 64).
Subs: Street, Worrall, Gregory
AFC Fylde: Urwin, Hughes, Crainey, Langley, Hannigan, Baker, Charles (Hughes, 71), Finley (Barnes,87), Rowe, Wilson, Lloyd.
Subs: Blinkhorn, Hinchcliffe, Whittle
Referee: C Hatzidakis