Durham University 2 0-2 Fylde 1
On Saturday, Fylde Ladies made the long trip North to face Durham University 2s. Starting with the bare 11, with Lisa Perry making her debut, Fylde made a lively start and it wasn’t long into the first quarter before Florencia Zappulla found the back of the Durham net.
With reinforcements then arriving, Fylde began to take a strong grip on the play with the forwards pressing hard, midfield combining well, and a solid defence in which Jayne Wilson was outstanding.
Durham continued to work hard as a team, but became reliant on throwing aerials into space, and failed to put sustained pressure on the Fylde goal.
Finally in the 4th quarter Hannah Cook scored from a penalty corner to give Fylde the breathing space they deserved.
A good team performance with everyone contributing to start off the second half of the season. PoM was Flor Zappulla with a typical energetic performance.
Bolton 1 1-3 Fylde 2
On Saturday 4th February, Fylde 2s had their second match of the season against Bolton.
The game started and it was a frustrating start with even possession of the ball from each team. We found our stride and played well to work the ball up the pitch from Olivia Merrick to the front line Chelsea, Katie and Val. Playing the ball around Chelsea got our first goal.
We worked well together as we didn’t have our normal team (thankyou to the thirds who stepped up) linking passes and a lot of running back and forth we finally got through again. This time Katie scored before half time.
We went back on in fighting spirit. Unfortunately although defending resiliently they managed to get a goal.
We turned it round and were soon back in their D getting a short corner, Sally passed to Beth and a straight strike unfortunately saved by the goal keeper. We battled on with some great defending and double teaming to win the ball and get another short corner. The ball went to Beth again and Chelsea wide for them to save it again.
We really came together as a team and managed to get our final goal. We worked into the D but they were determined not to let us in and transferring through Sally and Grace and back to Chelsea who scored again. Brought the score to 3-1.
Everyone played really well. Great result.
Fylde 3 2-0 Ulverston 1 (Thursday 2nd Feb)
After having previously been cancelled due to weather, this match was held on a Thursday evening. Many thanks to the Ulverston Captain, our team manger Niranji Atherton and the Ladies’ 4th and 5th team for accommodating this postponed match.
In the first half Fylde 3’s were awarded 3 short corners, even though these came to nothing Fylde continued to attack and work the ball around the opposition. With our quick thinking and agility we out-skilled all of the Ulverston players yet still couldn’t find the back of the net.
The ball barely entered our half of the pitch, but when it did our strong backline prevented them from getting through. As the end of the first half approached Fylde were eager to get a goal, despite countless opportunities it just was not happening. Our strong, young side, as always did not let this deter us, we continued to push forward and dominated in all aspects.
In the second half we continued to press them, getting closer and closer to success. Finally, after a great cross from Ariana Milligan, Natalie Smith received the ball and ran swiftly through numerous defenders before scoring. The crowd erupted in cheer and the atmosphere was phenomenal. A few minutes later, we were awarded a penalty flick. Although this was unsuccessful it was a valiant attempt.
We knew this match was ours, Ulverston showed their exhaustion while we continued to strive forwards, we had worn them down and attacked them relentlessly. To ensure our victory, Natalie Smith scored her second goal of the match - as the only goal scorer from either side.
Final score 2:0, Player of the Match goes to Natalie Smith, who showed her talent and skill, as well as her dedication to play despite other commitments.
Fylde 3 3-2 Chorley Phoenix 1
With great drive and desire Fylde started strongly. We were eager to beat Chorley Phoenix for the second time this season and would not let their aggression and attitude get in the way.
The game started off fast-paced and in the first 5 minutes Megan Coar scored the first fantastic goal of the match raising the score to 1:0. Even at this early-stage Chorley Phoenix began to become irritated and frustrated with our ability to out-skill them and close them down. Just two minutes later, Megan Coar went for goal again and got a deflection of the defenders' foot into the goal.
We continued to stay strong as we knew they were powerful, we worked as a team sticking on players and travelling up and down the pitch. Our pace really gave us the advantage today as we were able to carry the ball into space and use our close contact skills to get through then and beat them on the counterattacks.
As the first half progressed, we continued to dominate the pitch, only occasionally letting them get past us. Unfortunately, this time this resulted in a goal, despite excellent and thorough keeping by Eva Earnshaw. Chorley Phoenix saw they were in with a chance and took this opportunity to fight for the ball, literally and physically. Countless arguments with the umpires over contact resulted in both teams' competitive spirits skyrocketing, we wouldn’t allow their foul-mouthed language, shoves, and scrappy tackles to get them the win, they couldn’t compete with our pace and finesse.
The score equalised after Chorley Phoenix were awarded a penalty score, making it 2:2 at half time. We took this as our opportunity to regroup and come back stronger than ever. In the first 2 minutes after a run and cross by Lali Atherton, Natalie Smith gained possession and shot the ball into the top corner of the net, a fantastic goal - her third of the week.
Some new tactics taught to us by Martin in the warm-up gave Chorley Phoenix no clue what to do. By playing 1/2 court Chorley Phoenix couldn’t get through us and we were able to play consistently in their half. Following this Poppy Chester orchestrated a great run down the wing with players in great positioning across the pitch, although this didn’t result in a goal, our ability was clearly intimidating them.
As time ticked on and Chorley failed to get it through us, they got more and more feisty. 4 Short corners were awarded to them in the last 20 minutes, but Lauren Appleyard amongst many skilled defenders, continuously prevented the goals from getting in. In the last minute of the match after numerous backchats, a player from the opposition was sent off with a yellow card.
A long and strenuous match, but we got what we deserved. Final score 3:2.
Player of the Match goes to Victoria Latham whose incredible skill in the defence often goes unnoticed due to her swift and clean tackles.
Preston 2 5-1 Fylde 4
Charlotte Lavin grabbed a consolation goal as Fylde Ladies 4's went down 5-1 away to a strong Preston 2's team.
Fylde 5 0-0 Lancaster & Morecambe 2
Fylde were at their home ground at Mill Farm this week playing Lancaster and Morecambe 2s. Historically the 2 teams have been well matched and today was no different. The team welcomed this week Lois Westall who is newly returning to Fylde and Zoe Kirkham recovering from injury (and a night shift but you couldn’t tell).
Fylde took a few minutes to find their rhythm this week but quickly stepped up their game on realising the pace and skill of the opposition. Rosie Leil, Jessica Jennings, Amelia Sharpe and Lois worked well together and positioned well to move the ball up the left getting into the D on multiple occasions but sadly not finding the back of the net.
Fylde won a penalty corner at one point and Debbie McClelland got her stick to a high deflection of the keeper trying desperately to drop the ball in the net but alas what would have been the goal of her life never happened (which seems to be a pattern on Saturdays).
Lancaster and Morecambe made repeated skilful and fast drives through but Dawn Peruzza, Megan Eccles and Tiana Mosley were quick to channel the players and Sophie Slawson was in goal for 5s this week and she wasn’t allowing any shots on goal get through applying excellent pressure.
At half time Jay Currey gave the team some advice and Fylde returned to the pitch with “Fire in their bellies” and pushed the press higher and flooded the D on their attacks. They started to use the right more with the Mellisa Johnson Parker receiving some great balls from “mum” Liz Johnson and giving the feisty Soraya Rigby something to work with in the D.
The sound of a ball on wood was sadly missing from the game but a draw was a fair representation of possession and determination from both teams. A well deserved point for Fylde Final score Fylde 0-0 Lancaster and Morecambe. Win as a team, lose as a team.
Fylde 6 4-2 Leyland & Chorley 2
The 6th team were feeling positive this week with two subs on the bench and slightly warmer conditions than last week.
Leyland and Chorley fielded an expected team who wasted no time getting started. They broke through the defence and scored despite the best efforts of Fran Loffler-Thompson in goal. It took 10 a good minutes before Fylde were able to settle and start playing their own game rather than reacting to the opposition. Leyland & Chorley were awarded a number of short corners, of which one resulted in a scrappy goal.
Fylde kept their heads up and focussed on keeping the structure. With strong play in the midfield from Tilly Tomlinson, Issy Gut and Lola Huyton, the ball made it’s way to Poppy Milligan who took it to the baseline and across the keeper to score Fylde’s first of the match. This helped keep Fylde’s momentum and was followed by a short corner routine that saw Summer Holroyd score from the rebound.
Beginning the second half from a balanced scoreline meant Fylde were in positive territory. Leyland and Chorley continued their strong play however began to show frustration as Fylde responded in kind. The defence held strong with Heather Appleyard, Lauren Perkin and Grace Lord keeping Fylde out of too much trouble and plenty of passes out to and up the wings helped play progress. Fylde continued to grow in confidence and made use of the rolling subs to keep the energy levels high. This tactic paid off and Evie Finnegan lobbed the keeper to score Fylde’s third of the match.
Ellie Hope and Summer Holroyd worked well in centre back whilst newcomer Maisie Rattray helped bolster the attack at the front. Despite a number of well timed passes down the wings to the circle, Fylde couldn’t quite reach the goal. After being awarded a number of short corners in quick succession, Nikki Richmond scored the final goal of the match with a straight strike from the top of circle.
Both teams fought hard to the end and it felt like a deserved victory.
Preston 4 4-1 Fylde 1
It felt like groundhog day for the Men’s 1s this week, another evening pushback, same venue and same club. This time round the opponents were Preston 4s, a team struggling with results up until the Christmas break but since returning in 2023 proving difficult to beat.
On paper, Fylde went in to the game full of confidence, why shouldn’t we have, we had more the 1 sub this week! The game began and Preston started the quicker, with a youthful midfield and full of energy they didn’t allow Fylde to settle on the ball. Fylde on the back foot for the majority of the half did find some opportunities through the Preston defence but nothing coming of it. Preston pressing hard found opportunities through the left side of the Fylde defence and finding the back of the net twice before the break.
A stern talking to at half time hoped to give the Fylde side the drive they needed to turn the game around but this wasn’t the case, injuries started to creep in with Right Back Paul pulling a muscle in his chest, Captain Gareth Sym taking an early bath with a pulled hamstring and swollen knee and Connor McClelland taking a wayward ball to the thigh but finding the strength to continue, to the delight of Sym who thought he would be needed back on the pitch. Preston capitalising on the injuries and added Green and Yellow cards which Fylde picked up, both for tackles.
A slither of hope came late in the game when Jay Currey stepped up to fire the ball in to the bottom left from a penalty corner beyond the ex-Fylde GK Nick Rainbow, a win in itself and a goal Currey will be proud of. Showing the captain how it's done.
4-1 the final score and a missed opportunity for Fylde to gain points to get clear of the relegation battle.
MoM - Daddy
Busy Fool - Paul - For his chest pains
Fylde 2 1-1 Clitheroe Blackburn Northern 2
Fylde Men's 2's almost upset the unbeaten league leaders Clitheroe & Blackburn 2's by scoring early through Luke Hitchen and only conceding towards the end of the match. A draw was still a great result.
Full report to follow ...