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Match Reports 23 Mar 2024

The last league games for most teams, the Ladies 1's claiming joint 3rd in Conference North, the 2's securing a point and their place in Div 1, the 3's still bravely battling in Div 2, the 4's celebrating their promotion back to Div 3, the 5's producing a spirited performance against the Div 5 winners, and the Men claiming another home win.

Pendle Forest 1 1-0 Fylde 1

The last game of the season was at one stage going to be a title decider but credit to Pendle Forest on a fantastic season.

It’s been a very good one for Fylde and the performance against Pendle showed how much progress has been made. It was a very competitive and intense game but played with the right attitude from both teams. It was a few aerial balls and disguise passes that put Fylde on the back foot in the first quarter. It required the defence to block and prevent the early Pendle chances. A well taken penalty corner from Charlotte Hartley lifting the ball over Katie Barker after a good first save gave Pendle the lead. But as the quarter finished Fylde had counter attacks of their own with chances for Pru Lindsey and Dawn Child and a couple of corners brought Fylde back into the game.

The pressing and structure improved in the first half and good possession was causing Pendle problems. Solid performances all over the pitch given the very cold temperature and wet weather was testimony to the efforts all season from Fylde.

In the second half both teams had chances but good goalkeeping from Barker prevented any Pendle opportunities and the confidence of Amy Carter, Vicky Rukin and Lisa Perry in the middle and the good movement of the ball from Olivia Merrick, Lucy Partington and Jessica Addy meant chances started to emerge for the midfield and the forward line. But like so many weeks the final third has prevented us from grasping points in games. The effort level and approach was superb and a joint 3rd place finish in the league has been a great achievement.

A huge thank you must go to the whole squad, management team and to the families and supporters who have travelled all across the north of England supporting Fylde!

Fylde 2 1-1 Formby 1

Fylde knew that they needed to get at least a draw to be safe from relegation.

Fylde had a strong start and were on top for the first fifteen minutes, with quick passing down the pitch creating multiple opportunities. After several mis-chances Keira Tomes ran down the backline and scored a cracking goal from the left across the goal keeper to right post.

Formby came back into the match towards the end of the first half, and ended up with a short corner that was defended beautifully by Amelia Hatton.

In the second half the match was more end to end with Formby’s tactic of playing two high players stretching the play. Fylde had multiple attacking short corners which they unfortunately couldn’t convert, and with approximately 15 mins left Formby equalised with a nice bit of interplay.

For the rest of the game the play was end to end, with near misses at goal. When the final whistle was blown Fylde had great relief and the spectators roared in triumph!

South Lakes 1 5-2 Fylde 3

Fylde 3rd Team took a long trip to Ulverston on Saturday to play a strong, mainly adult, South Lakes team. This is a one-team club and was their only meeting as the winter frozen spell had intervened in the first game. The challenge started in the changing room as coach Adrian Metcalf attempted to structure a balanced team from those available on the day! Some players had to adjust to new positions but the team were still confident.

Fylde’s eleven teenage players, along with Lucy Whiteside playing her debut game, took a while to adjust to the fast, bald pitch in the freezing yet sunny conditions. Their opponents scored first as experience overcame youth but Fylde fought back with Jess Jenning’s first goal for the team! A second skilful goal from South Lakes made it 2-1 at the break but Fylde were showing great promise in surging overloads which could not be converted.

In the second half Fylde continued to play intricate passing hockey but the key passes were intercepted or mis-timed and their opponents continued to drive forward. Three of South Lakes’ goals came from well taken penalty corners and one player was particularly dominant.

Fylde continued to create many chances and Charlotte Lavin drove a powerful and well deserved forehand strike into the net. Travelling emergency substitute, Fran Loffler-Thompson, managed ten minutes at the end and succeeded in raising the average age of the team by several notches!!

This Fylde 3rd Team may have lost 5-2 to a team which is second in the table, but they are continuing to improve. The last game of the season on 6th April, 1pm at Mill Farm, will determine their destiny - only a win against Ulverston should keep them from relegation!

Fylde 4 3-0 Pendle Forest 3

With promotion already in the bag, Fylde 4s were determined to finish the season on a high and enjoy our final game. Bitter winds made for an uncomfortable start but fortunately the rain held off.

Fylde started strong, taking control of the play and working the ball through Liddy Eccles, Liz Johnson and Issy Gut in the midfield. Fylde quickly won a short corner and despite a good routine, Liz Johnson’s strike was thwarted by the keeper. Pendle had a good set of youngsters pressing forward but Megan Eccles kept them in sight with the assistance of Hermione Edwards to keep them out of the circle. A lifted shot granted Pendle a short corner which Melissa Johnson-Parker expertly took out of play at the top of the circle, Pendle simply hadn’t had time to make a shot on goal!

More short corners followed for Fylde but as has been our nemesis this season, none were converted. Hollie Twose gifted a scoring opportunity to Nikki Richmond in the circle which the keeper just managed to nudge outside of the post. After a break towards the defence, Pendle met with Hermione Edwards who diligently dribbled the ball from before half way all the way into the circle for an excellent opening goal. Fylde restarted with good structure as Leah Richmond brought the ball to the baseline for an attempt on goal. Again, the Pendle keeper did her job well and Leah was denied a number of times. With the support of Eve Clarkson and Issy Gut, Ellie Hope took her chance on a reverse shot which glided beautifully behind the keeper to find the backboard.

Half time left coach Phil Hope speechless (this has never happened), as the team discussed how well the play was coming together and how enjoyable it was. Manager Zoe was probably fighting the urge to join the action! Fylde reset for the second half, not complacent as Pendle had given us plenty to worry about in defence. Camilla Wyles stretched her legs running at pace through players and tried to find the goal. Pendle were starting to send long balls through the middle to their high forwards but 1-2s on both the left and right side of the pitch kept Fylde dominating. Pendle had more opportunities in the circle this half and Sophie Slawson performed some fantastic saves where required. More short corners for Fylde and still no joy but another fabulous strike from open play by Liz Johnson put Fylde ahead by 3. Hollie Twose created many opportunities from long corners by posting up on the edge of the circle as Leah Richmond and Ellie Hope continued to harass the keeper.

Pendle found their strength in the final 10 minutes resulting in a thumb injury for Liz Johnson, they pressed hard and really challenged Megan and Liddy Eccles. Sophie blocked some final shots at goal and the whistle blew for full time.

This has been a fantastic season for Fylde 4s, the aim was to seek promotion and the team succeeded through team work, perseverance and learning week on week. Congratulations to the players, coaches and supporters.

Fylde 5 1-4 Windermere 1

Fylde 5 fielded a brilliant team this week for their last game of the season. They were playing top of the table Windermere and the pre match talk was all about having fun.

It was an excellent game and the support from the stands gave confidence to some of the less experienced players. Julie Knowles, Hollie Whiteside, Bella Coupe Carroll and Olivia Windows made 5th team hockey look easy and made some excellent play up front. Sara Tomlinson and Isla Carter both had exceptionally good games against stronger, older, and more experienced Windermere players standing firm and intercepting play. Tilly Tomlinson, Emily Finney and Debbie McClelland worked hard to stop play down the middle and defend hard.

The real magic happened in the defending. Windermere were top of the table for a reason yet the determination and skill of the defence was remarkable. Frustrating Windermere who must have arrived expecting an easy game and a big score line. Mother and daughter team Heather and Lauren Appleyard, Dawn Perruzza and last but not least Grace Lord in goal. Thwarted the opposition time and time again.

The look on Windermere faces and the cries of protest as Lauren drag flicked a short corner denying the Windermere keeper the clean sheet.

Thank you to our supporters and Olivia's mum Kelly for coaching and sorting the subs. Final score Windermere 4 - Fylde 1

Last game as Captain for Debbie McClelland.

Well done girls there was plenty of fire in your bellies and lots of fun.

Win as a team lose as team.

Fylde Men 5-0 Garstang Development

A blustery day was made worse with a hailstorm five minutes into the late 4pm game for Fylde’s Men against Garstang’s development side, in the final league game of the season.

With everyone soaked and cold, it took an early goal from top scorer Phil Hope to warm up Fylde with the grandstand echoing to the roars of his adoring fan-club (perhaps high-pitched screams is a better description, but it was very welcome nonetheless).

Fylde kept up the early pressure and scored a second at a penalty corner from Phil Hope. Nigel Sadler was passed the ball into the D, and with his trademark swivel was unlucky that his shot went just wide of the post. Jack Jones and Ollie Holmes were supporting the numerous attacks in midfield, and had James Dobson and Oli Adewale driving down both wings.

Garstang had plenty of their own possession with some skilful players on show, but the back line of Stan Morrison, Phil Weir, Pete Latimer, Craig Tilley and young Ed Jefferson on his debut were successful in shutting down most of the attacks.

Half-time came, and Fylde were keen to play even better, and had a belter of a second half. Jay Mayne scored a third direct from a penalty corner, and then almost scored again with a powerful shot form the right, which had a small deflection leaving Phil Hope to pounce on to complete his hat-trick.

Fylde were making runs from all over the pitch, Ed Jefferson was making yards down the right wing, and later swapped position with James Dobson leading to even more attacking opportunities. Goal chances were regularly being made and the 5th goal was scored none other than Phil Hope. Even injured captain Richard Clarke fancied a piece of the action bringing himself on for the last few minutes (and risking his recovery) with a storming run down through the middle of the pitch.

There were several candidates for Man of the Match, Phil Hope with his 4 goals, Craig Nutter for a clean sheet (only his second in years), but it was unanimously awarded to Ed Jefferson for his very impressive debut performance on the right, both defensively and in attack.

With 10 wins, 2 draws, and only 4 losses, it’s been a successful league season for Fylde playing as a development side, but they’re now looking forward to fighting for points next season, after competing for the Lancashire Development Cup in April.


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