Fylde 1 0-0 Didsbury Northern 1
Vitality Women's Conference North Fylde played Didsbury Northern 1’s at home following on from a great win the previous weekend against Alderley Edge. With a several of our forwards missing, we were very fortunate to have some younger players stepping up. In the first half, Fylde played well progressing up the pitch with some brilliant runs and line balls by Hattie Madden on the right, to Dawn Child who won a few corners. Several opportunities to score at short corners were made, however Fylde struggled to get the ball in the goal from the post. The first half ended 0-0 with Fylde having most of the possession and many attempts to score. Unfortunately, the second half did not follow on from the first, with no short corners and few shots at goal. As Didsbury got more eager for goals and Fylde gained tired legs, it led to a few errors being made, however with some great defending from Lucy Partington and Anya Jackson in goal, the score remained 0-0. The final score was a 0-0 draw, which was slightly disappointing due to the number of short corners, but good to still finish above Didsbury in the table, unbeaten in 2nd place behind Timperley.
Fylde 2 3-0 Bolton 1
North West Women's Division 1 Fylde 2s were up and rearing to go for their game against Bolton. After a disappointing and frustrating result in last week's game, the focus point was to show determination and work together to get the 3 points in the bag. Fylde were slightly apprehensive warming up for the game as the team line up didn’t include a goalkeeper. Abigail Johnson bravely took one for the team and took on the role, with the help of coach Lisa Brown showing her how to put the kit on. Fylde started the first half determined to work together and press in packs to avoid Abi having to touch the ball. With some great linking passes in the middle from Lisa Perry and Sally Livesey, Fylde moved around the Bolton defence and scored the first goal. Bolton fought back but were unable to break down Fylde’s defence with EJ Dunkerley dictating the press. Fylde ended the first half 2-0 up with a half time team talk assessing how to break down Bolton’s defence short corners. The second half was more of an even playing field with Bolton pushing up and producing a couple of shots on target.
Olivia John-Haslam and Frankie Margerison worked together to win a short corner. Fylde used this opportunity to try the short corners discussed at half time. With a quick short pass to the edge of the D, a flat slap across the goal and a spectacular touch by Emma Savidge, Fylde finished the game with a 3-0 victory.
Chorley Phoenix 1 1-2 Fylde 3
North West Women's Division 2 North Many of us, having faced this team before in previous seasons, knew this would be a tough, fast-paced game raising our competitive spirit even higher than in previous matches. From the start, it was evident that Chorley Phoenix had underestimated our tactical strategies and skilful play. Consequently, following scrappy play by them - many of our team obtained injuries. In the fifth minute of the match Megan Coar deceptively dribbled around multiple players and the keeper to raise the score to 1:0. At high intensity, Fylde relentlessly attacked down both sides with quick and efficient switches around the back through the strong, sturdy and impenetrable Jessica Egan. We dominated possession, fighting for goals high up the pitch. In the 19th minute, after a cross from Lali Atherton, Grace Tomlinson surrounded by defenders, got it past the keeper. 2:0 up, it would’ve been easy for Fylde to decrease our intensity. However, our fit, young side were determined to tire them out. Chorley Phoenix continued to resort to aggression, we didn’t allow this to deter us and pushed forward. They tried to intimidate us with their strength and physicality, which resulted in them giving away 3 short corners in the first half. In the second half, after some strict and harsh umpiring decisions, Chorley Phoenix were awarded 3 consecutive shorts - the last of which was incredibly frustrating as it led to our first concession of the match, despite it arguably having been incorrectly called. If it wasn’t for many great, and one astonishing save by Eva Earnshaw, as well as a defence who proved they were capable of stopping almost any attack, the final score would have looked very different. Fylde put every last morsel of effort into this match, we tried not to let our desire to win affect our play but in the final minute we gave away a short corner. Chorley Phoenix were eager to equalise, but we knew this was our match to win. After a long battle with countless injuries throughout the match, the ball went off the backline and the final whistle was blown. A well-deserved win for Fylde Ladies 3’s. Final score 2:1. Player of the match has been awarded to Jessica Egan.
Fylde 4 2-3 Preston 2
North West Women's Division 3 North (Central) Fylde 4s were home against Preston 2s. With a strong side and Phil Hope coaching from the sidelines we were confident! Fylde took a while to get their rhythm, but once they did they started to pass really well. Natalie Smith played very strongly through the middle and Georgia Nicholls made some great runs up the left had side making some strong tackles! Fylde finally broke through with a strike on goal from Abbie Warburton which touched the stick of a Preston defender before flying through the keeper's legs making it 1-0.
Preston fought back and scored 3 goals where they managed to break through Fylde's strong defence, Beth Wolstenholme, Becky Evans and Lindsey Tait. Forward Anna Vavoso then made a great break forward scoring to make it 3-2. Fylde 4s fought hard and had many chances at goal but couldn’t convert by the final whistle, leaving it 3-2 to Preston 2s. A scrappy game from Preston resulted in a lot of cards flying around and again for Fylde 4s the score line did not reflect the strong game we played! Shout out to Sophia Murray and Katie Leil who were playing brilliantly until some unfortunate balls to the head left Fylde with no subs, we hope you’re okay girls! Joint players of the match Sophia Murray and Georgia Nicholls.
Lancaster & Morecambe 2 1-0 Fylde 5
North West Women's Division 4 North (Central) Fylde's Ladies 5XI took on Lancaster & Morecambe 2XI. With Lancaster & Morecambe taking the first push back, Rosie Leil closed down immediately, winning possession of the ball, and having an early shot on goal, narrowly missing it.
As Lancaster & Morecambe gained possession of the ball, Eve Clarkson defended excellently and drove up the pitch. After some great possession, Lancaster & Morecambe intercepted, despite best defending efforts from Heather Appleyard, Lancaster & Morecambe scored.
Fylde maintained strong possession and had multiple opportunities on goal. As the half time whistle blew the team gathered for a motivational talk from captain Deborah McClelland. Fylde went into the second half determined, with fire in their bellies. Kelly Wiseman started the half with a push back and Fylde made an attempt on goal but unfortunately missed.
Lancaster & Morecambe gained possession and they had a shot on goal that was fantastically saved by Eva Earnshaw. Lancaster & Morecambe made a second attempt from the rebound that was saved and hit out the D, into Fylde possession, by Abbie Southern, which gave Elizabeth Johnson a shot on goal that was narrowly saved by their goalkeeper.
When Lancaster & Morecambe gained possession it was quickly defended by Dawn Perruzza. Lancaster & Morecambe tried again to attack, but it was brilliantly defended by Melissa Johnson Parker. Near the end of the match were some great 1-2 passes from Rachael Lees and Liddy Eccles, but another unfortunate miss on goal.
Final score 1-0 to Lancaster & Morecambe. Win as a team, lose as a team.
Leyland & Chorley 2 2-9 Fylde 6
North West Women's Division 5 North (Central) The Ladies 6th team played away at Buckshaw village this week. Starting with 13 players felt like a good omen. And it was. A strong run by Sophie Rawlinson down the right wing, with a well-timed pass to Lola Huyton who found Soraya Rigby in the Circle who promptly delivered a Fylde their first goal. Two Fylde short corners soon followed and despite a good first strike on both, the ball was cleared well by a determined Leyland & Chorley side. After some high intensity passing in the circle, Hollie Twose found the backboard for the second goal. This continued with a further goal from Soraya, supplied by Katie Sloane who carried the ball from halfway through a few defenders. Soraya hadn’t finished for the first half yet and scored her hat trick just before the whistle by lobbing the keeper. The team were feeling good at half time with their 4-0 lead however with the loss of Sam Derbyshire to injury and Fran Loffler-Thompson to other duties, the straight eleven were determined to keep their goal streak. Fylde reconvened and quite quickly, Hollie Twose secured her second goal following another high intensity battle in the circle. Leyland & Chorley had not given up by any means and were making it difficult in their half, they scored followed a breakaway attack which caught us a little of guard. Poppy Milligan and Lola Huyton were the dream team, working effectively together with 1-2s rewarding Poppy with a goal which she slipped left of the keeper. With Katie Sloane and Kate Ralston working hard in the mid field, Fylde continued to intercept Leyland & Chorley to win back possession and switch play. Soraya struck again to score from a rebound following a good short corner routine and Lola Huyton picked up a goal following an excellent attack on the circle. Leyland & Chorley continued to fight back and eventually managed to slip a second goal past Sophie Slawson who had not been given much to do so far! Tiana Moseley, Grace Lord and Lauren Perkins defended with continued enthusiasm and success throughout. Fylde defended a short corner very well with the clearance leading to Poppy Milligan carrying the ball from halfway, through 5 defenders and into the circle to deliver Fylde’s final goal. Another good performance from a team very much growing in confidence.
Fylde 1 5-0 Preston 4
North West Men's Division 3 North Fylde's Men's 1st XI played host to Preston again, this time their 4ths, although a few members from their 3rds the week before were present.
Early exchanges saw a lively Adam Ball, unable to make the most of an awful pass, then after 15 minutes, good work from Steve Whitley found Ball who was able to lay it on a plate for Jack Williams' first 1st team goal.
A couple of short corners saw two incredible saves off drag flicks from the returning captain Gareth Sym, sure goals against most keepers in this division. Fylde's pressure continued, Sym driving the ball into the D after 20 mins, saw a clever deflection from Whitley for 2-0.
The home team's defence was sound, the introduction of coach Kenny Gardiner into his own team, keeping things simple, taking the ball and moving it on quickly, Fylde now controlling the ball around the back, keeping possession, running down the first half clock.
"More of the same please" was the cry, sure enough, 5 minutes into the second half, Sym again from a similar position at the top of the D, this time an opponent's stick, an own goal.
Still no let up from the home side, 10 minutes later, from a well worked short, simplicity itself, the ball sent back to injector Rob Jepson, saw him coolly lift the ball over the advancing keeper.
Now Fylde kept control, no need to go gung ho, just bide their time, this they did, with the final reward of a penalty flick with 2 minutes to go after Ball was impeded, this week the captain was up to the task, Sym getting the 5th to round off a good all round team performance.
Gardiner made hockey look simple, Ball was lively throughout, but MOM went to Steve Whitley, who was a constant threat to the Preston defence.
Clitheroe Blackburn Northern 2 4-2 Fylde 2
North West Men's Division 4 North Fylde Men's 2's made their way to Clitheroe Blackburn Northern's pitch, with memories of a 15-0 drubbing only 7 months earlier. Despite Fylde having a similar looking team, this time the opposition was the 2nd team rather than the 1st team, so a closer match was envisaged but was still going to be tough given that the home team were unbeaten and top of the table.
From the off, Fylde were put under pressure from the home team and struggled to retain possession and have any meaningful attacks. It wasn't long before Blackburn scored, although only after a series of defensive mistakes in not clearing the ball in the D. Minutes afterwards Blackburn caught Fylde on the break and put together a passing move that Fylde were unable to stop, finishing with a simple tap-in from an unmarked striker.
Fylde altered their formation to be more defensive and gradually got back into the game, including winning a couple of short corners, although nothing came of them. Blackburn almost went 3-0 up when a goal was given after a bit of a goalmouth scramble, but a striker very honestly admitted to the umpire that the ball had hit his foot and so the decision was reversed.
After a half-time team talk, and reminder of Chris Dunkerley's inspiring speech (delivered at 1am via WhatsApp), Fylde came out to the second half looking to make simple passes and retain possession.
From a free hit just inside Blacburn's half, Pete Latimer ran into space in the middle of the pitch from his normal position of centre back and was passed the ball, took it upfield and passed into the D. Richard Clarke took a shot which was partially saved, and the ball ended up behind the goalkeeper but slowly moving, about to go off the pitch by the near post. However, Pete Latimer had continued his run, saw the opportunity, and dived headlong, reversing his stick and just managing to touch the ball at full length to divert its path back over the line into the goal. Cue memorable goal celebrations, including reports of a cry of "it's like I'm aged 20 all over again" from the over 50 veteran defender who claims once to have been a goal-scoring forward*.
Fylde suddenly had belief and minutes later Richard Clarke went on a solo run down the right wing and won a short corner, which was then dispatched with force and accuracy by Ollie Holmes at first strike.
2-2 and Blackburn looked stunned. However they also upped their game and almost immediately attacked and won a short corner, which was well struck, partially saved by Craig Nutter, but bounced up into the thigh of Andy Lund guarding the post, resulting in a penalty stroke. With the pre-match words from Chris Dunkerley "Nutter, be amazing" as an invisible force, Fylde's captain and goalkeeper stepped to his right and successfully saved the penalty flick, in what may be the first ever occasion for him. This surely was an omen, the match was Fylde's to be taken.
Unfortunately not, despite some brave defending, Blackburn were too strong and managed two more goals. A well fought game, and despite some raised voices at times, actually good natured. Fylde remain in 4th place despite the loss and know they can compete with any of the teams in the division, which is a welcome change from last season. Pete Latimer was voted Player of the Match for his first goal in 15 years, almost to the day* (or perhaps just for the goal celebration).
[END OF THIS WEEK'S MATCH REPORTS]
[*historical artefact dug up from the Blackpool archives]
06 October 2007
Blackpool Men's 2s 4-1 Southport Men's 5s
by Peter Latimer
10 years in the waiting so please excuse my self indulgent report and personal history lesson
They say good things happen to those who wait. Perhaps the All Blacks might disagree, but generally there’s a ring of truth. And Saturday was that day for this reporter.
OK it’s a long story and I need to start at the beginning. I’ve now been playing hockey for 25 years or more (which is a scary thought in itself) and started out my career in the old inside-right position, back in the days of 2-3-5 formations and bully-offs to start a game. I continued to play up front off and on and scored many a goal flinging myself towards balls on grass pitches the length and breadth of Yorkshire.
I continued to play at Bristol University, and was even top scorer in 1990-1 when playing for the 4th team with 29 goals. I was promoted to the 3rd team in the following season and even had occasional appearances for the 2nd’s. And you need to understand what a powerful club the UBMHC were, as the 1st’s won the UAU (equivalent of BUSA) competition that year beating Loughborough on the way. Our exploits in the uni bar also made headlines in the student paper “horribly male and intimidating”, but that’s another story.
I then went to live and work in Glasgow and joined Hillhead’s 2nd team, still as a striker, so more goals were scored, and I can even claim to have scored at least one goal in the Scottish National League after a few appearances for the 1st team (OK it was only Division 4 but it still sounds quite impressive).
I then joined the sleeping giant that was Blackpool HC in 1997. At that point there was a surplus of strikers with Andy Mortimer and the late great Daz Hamer in their prime and Dave Morgan snapping at their heels. So inevitably with the club struggling for even 11 players on a weekly basis, I was placed in all manner of positions, although mainly in left and right midfield at first. There was certainly no sight of a goal with us regularly being beaten and relegated in the first year and struggling in Division 6 for another two years.
The club’s fortunes started to pick up in 2000. Some say it was the start of Andy Gerrard’s reign as captain, others say it was the recruitment of the Morrow brothers to the struggling midfield, but I reckon it was when I was pushed back to defence to partner Rob Abbott and form a defensive wall. Three successive promotions followed, including being crowned Division 5 Champions in 2001/02, up to the heights of Division 3, which is where the 1st team still remain.
Of course during that time I never had a sniff at goal, and instead saw others come and go from the 1st team whilst getting their name on the scorers’ chart. The likes of Mike Sharp, Dom Chadwick, Warren Edmondson, Alex Diver, T Smith, Warren Van Rensburg, Paul Wareing and Gareth Gettings all scored for the 1st’s. I mean even Joe Boniface scored a solitary goal in 2003 and who can forget him taking off his shirt and whirling around his head!
The body clock kept ticking and I start to drop down to the 2nd team, with occasional appearances for the 1st’s when they’re short, but still playing in defence. However last year I managed to cross the halfway line for the first time in years, and there seems to be more time and space in the lower divisions. I narrowly missed out on what would have been a dramatic sliding goal against Bury GSOB last year, but otherwise I have had 10 barren years.
And so finally we get to Saturday’s events ------------------------------(the actual match report starts here)
It looked promising when Southport arrived with only 10 players, mixing a blend of youth and experience, whilst Blackpool had the maximum 4 subs.
The game started in a relaxed way with Blackpool passing and moving with ease, but coming up against a stiff Southport defence. An early counter-attack saw a ball unlikely strike a Blackpool defender in the D to give a short corner away, from which Southport scored from a rebound after an initial Rainbow stop.
As all Blackpool sides are experienced at conceding early goals, there was no panic. In fact just minutes later a short corner was won, and Simon Allen struck home with accuracy from the top of the D, for his first goal for the club having only joined this season.
Blackpool then took control for the rest of the half and could have scored a second when another short corner was stopped by a foot on the goal-line. Simon Allen stepped up to take the resultant penalty flick, but the Southport keeper pulled off a great save.
Southport had their moments, especially when counter attacking with their youthful winners, but half-time came with the score still at 1-1. The Blackpool side were encouraged to stay calm and keep their composure and the goals would come. Ryan Lynch came on at the start of the 2nd half and immediately started to cause problems for Southport, linking well with Donnelly up front. Paul Atherton scored the second goal striking well after coming in from his left wing.
Now we come to the all important third goal, which made the win secure. It started at the back, from a Blackpool defence of Rayner, Bancroft, Bould and Allen who refused to yield another goal. Latimer found space and ran over the half-way line (a rare occurrence in the last few years), passed to Wicker on the right who responded with a little 1-2 as Latimer was still on a run. Another quick pass to Donnelly followed, who then proceeded to beat a defender and enter the D from the right, and got a shot off towards goal. A save was made but it rebounded back, right into the path of Latimer who had continued his run much to his amazement. Spotting a rare opportunity he wasted no time in pushing the ball with force towards the far corner of the goal in a dive reminiscent of his younger days playing on grass. Somehow it was pinpoint accurate and the keeper couldn’t reach it. Latimer then ran back to the half-way line high-fiving his team mates and calling out in an embarrassing manner how it had taken 10 years for him to score a goal for the club. There was then an agonising moment when the umpires conferred and it looked like the goal could be denied, but local umpire Steve Bradbury stuck to the original decision, which is just as well as there would have been hell to pay otherwise!
The rest of the game passed in a blur for this reporter, although Paul Atherton scored a second, and Blackpool played some good hockey, making full use of all the subs, which is creating a stronger squad week by week. The final score was 4-1 and the squad is now full of confidence again, following captain Rayner’s return from a temporary absence last week, and are looking forward to another fruitful season.
The day was capped off by England beating Australia in the Rugby World Cup quarter finals and then New Zealand being dumped by France. We look forward to England beating France in the semi-final next week.
Peter Latimer 12/10/07