Fylde Ladies top of Conference North after 2 wins out of 2.
Fylde 1 1-0 Durham University 2
It was great to begin the season at Fortress Mill Farm with a 1-0 win. A variety of factors had affected the availability this week but the approach from the group was superb. A tentative start saw the two teams cancel each other out but some intricate dribbling from Jessica Wharton and Grace McGarvey saw Fylde create the first opportunities. But the retention of the ball was key as Fylde gauged the Durham defence.
A superb steal in midfield from Flo Zappulla followed by a wide lead which gave space for a good carry from Jessica Wharton and then Emma Savidge showed great commitment to get to the back post and deflect in!
The work rate with and without the ball was fantastic again! The confidence and belief in each other is great to see so early in the season and it was great to see Amy Carter, Holly Farquharson and Olivia Merrick make their first starts in the league. Karen marshalled the group with great communication and it was great to see Jan support as manager. Player of the match was Jess Wharton for her great carries and continuous work rate. Less said about Grace’s aerial the better.
Fylde 2 0-1 Prescot 1
The game started and Prescot were right on us with a few close chances, but we continued to battle throughout and used our speed to get ahead. We kept working for each other and started to link the passes. Prescot were attacking very strong but with a strong defence by Kelly Windows and Michelle Longton organising play and midfield jumping back, Prescot didn’t manage to score. Fylde continued with high intensity throughout and played some quick passes down the lines, continuing to use the width of the pitch. Beth Ridsdale and Laura Knowles were battling in the middle to maintain possession and working hard to get ahead. With Lucy Wane and Kirtika Saravanan getting high and wide and the forwards lead by captain Chelsea Atkinson making runs across the pitch Fylde had some close chances. Then with a fast attack Katie Forde put a brilliant through ball into the d but unfortunately no one managed to get there.
The half time whistle with the score at 0-0 was blown and there was still chance for Fylde. After a constructive team talk from Lisa Brown we saw the gaps where we could attack and spoke about improvements and Fylde were ready for the second half.
Fylde continued to battle and with Chelsea Atkinson leading the press we kept them in their own half. However Prescot 1 weren’t giving up and continued to attack but our defence was there to stop them with support from everyone getting back. Prescot then quickly transferred from left to right and then with a fast ball into the D they managed to deflect it, unfortunately the score was now 0-1. Everyone kept their heads up and was working as one and continued to battle to stop any of the opposition's chances as the game continues to be end to end. The final whistle blew and we unfortunately lost 0-1 after lots of hard work and battling until the final whistle. Against an experienced opposition Fylde played very well and battled throughout.
Well done everyone and let’s try get a win next week.
Southport 1 6-0 Fylde 3
This Saturday saw the 3rd team take a different squad to last week, having pulled players from the 5th and 4th team. This however didn’t phase the Ladies 3rd team. The result didn’t show as to how hard and well we played as a team, learning new tactics and directions from Adrian Metcalf.
Man of the Match goes to Freya Davis-Nunnick, who made some absolutely amazing saves. Freya made a fantastic save from a penalty flick and a drag flick from a short corner.
Fylde 4 1-0 Windermere 1
The Ladies 4th Team drew the short straw as the weather turned and was only fit for ducks, yet they managed to prevail with a 1-0 win!
Rosie Leil smashed a short corner strike which Windermere were unable to clear off the line. It was raining “cats and dogs” and stick grips were dodgy, spectacles were steamed up and needed wipers, yet the ageing goalkeeper made some amazing saves and the defence stood firm as the rain piled down.
It was a great effort to stay 1-0 ahead and thanks must go to coach Zoe Kirkham, forever wet and cheerful within her quilted jacket, and parents who transported youngsters to the game to give us a full quota of players.
Bedraggled yet victorious the team scurried off for hot chocolate in the clubhouse and hot baths at home to the warm feeling that they were still unbeaten.
Garstang 4 4-1 Fylde 5
For the second game of the season Fylde Ladies 5th team were heavily fortified with the budding youth and enthusiasm for our match against Garstang 4. Captain Debbie McClelland and defender Dawn Peruzza did their best to add experience and maturity to the squad, without much success, they did however raise the average age to over 16.
The pre-match team talk revolved mostly around what everyone's names were and laughing at Debbie mispronouncing some of them. Summer Holroyd rolling her eye when Debbie explained that in 5s we win as a team and lose as a team.
The side-line support was abundant, and the team warmed up and were ready for the challenge ahead of them. Garstang started strong as the team were settling into position, but we felt we were well matched on skill. Garstang pressed high and worked effectively together managing to break into the D and score their first goal. Fylde were not phased and started to get more comfortable in their positions. Olivia Hartley-Smith confidently intercepted play on the left and fed some excellent balls through to Sara Tomlinson and Hollie Twose. Summer Holroyd's work rate and unique one-handed hockey made life difficult in midfield for Garstang and creating opportunities for Megan Hartley-Smith and Hermione Edwards to move the ball up the right with some really strong threats on Garstang's defence. Fylde won a penalty corner and Debbie quickly hatched a plan, Summer would inject to her, and she would slip it to Hermione Edwards to take a shot on goal. The ball was injected, and it was apparent we had neglected to tell Summer the plan. Hermione received the ball and her shot on goal was powerful and on target. The crowd went wild, the umpires shook their heads, and the ball was too high, and the goal was disallowed.
Sadly, Garstang continued to dominate the first half and the score was 4-0 to the home team. Fylde were not disheartened as the team were feeling more confident now. “Progress not perfection” being the theme of the half time talk. Fylde came out ready to give it their best shot. Garstang's game became more predictable, and Fylde was able to repeatedly apply pressure to their attacking play. Grace Lord, Dawn and Debbie held firm and defended well. Phillipa Hanncock was determined to not let the scoreline rise higher and made some gritty saves, impressing the Garstang umpires and coaches. Fylde made another confident attacking play Emily Finney, Hollie and the midfield, moving the ball around the D to Julie Knowles who found the back board and scored for Fylde on her debut match in ladies league hockey. Spirits stayed high until a series of short corners were won by Garstang in the last few minutes of the game. Fylde defended fiercely Phillipa working hard. Sadly, the ball got trapped between Phillipas gloves and a penalty stroke was awarded. As they set up for the stroke, Phillipa stayed calm and the shot went to her bottom right and she threw herself hard and deflected it away. The crowd went wild.
Final score 4-1 to Garstang. 12 very happy players left the pitch having played an amazing game of hockey.
Win as a team lose as a team.
Fylde Men 7-1 Brookfield Development
Brookfield’s Development team only had 7 players available for the 10.30 game at Mill Farm, so Fylde agreed to lend them a goalkeeper and two of their best outfield players, to make it a more even 10-a-side game.
Whilst Fylde started the game with a lot of possession, they were thwarted by the solid Brookfield defence, including Ollie Holmes and Craig Nutter in goal.
Brookfield gained in confidence and increased their spells with the ball, helped by Chris Blackburn roaming down the left wing. In a rare attack, a Brookfield hit just inside the D on the right hand-side at pace, was most unluckily diverted into Fylde’s goal from the foot of Glenn Ridsdale. Advantage Brookfield.
This woke Fylde up, and they countered with a lucky goal of their own when a Phil Weir hit was also deflected in by a Brookfield defender. Fylde then took the lead later in the half from a short corner, when James Dobson’s hit looped up and down, just enough to be within the backboard height limit to be a valid goal. Luke Whitelow made some important saves for Fylde to keep them 2-1 ahead into the half-time break.
The second half was a much better display, and Fylde showed how they can play, with attacks down the wings and some neat finishing. There were two goals from both Phil Hope and Luke Hitchen, taking their tallies to four each after just two games, and another for Phil Weir, his third for the season.
Final score was 7-1, with Phil Weir winning the Player of the Match vote.