Oxton 2XI 0-7 Fylde 1XI
North Hockey League Division 3
Fylde’s first team finished their league campaign with an emphatic 7-0 win away at Oxton, and with it securing the title.
Needing just a point from their final game to top the table, Fylde never looked like giving Oxton the opportunity to cause an upset. Ian Swaine, keeping his place in the front line, opened the scoring with a deft touch past the keeper from Simon Thomas’ cross/shot. But despite dominating possession, Fylde struggled to capitalise and had to wait most of the half for their second goal. The goal was a fine team move, finished off by Sam Bury.
Skipper Simon Major called for some more flair in the second half and the team duly produced. Oli Santamera moved into midfield and this reignited their forward play. Jay Currey’s driving run set up Josh Boyne for his first, before Santamera played his part in setting up James Oakes and then Bury and Boyne’s second goals of the match. Nick Rainbow was only called on a few times in net, but when needed he was assured as ever to claim another clean sheet, supported by the excellent Rob Jepson and Ben Mortimer in defence. Fylde had time for one more, Boyne competing his hat-trick and earning him the man of the match award.
Fylde finish the season top of the table and with it promotion into North Div 2 next year. The Lancashire cup finals weekend has been postponed until September, so they have the summer to wait and see if they can complete the double.
Fylde 2XI 5-2 Horwich 1XI
North West Hockey League Division 2 North
Fylde Men’s 2’s hosted Horwich 1’s in the early push back at Mill Farm, in warm and sunny weather before the clouds and rain came later in the day.
Fylde started brightly with Alex Horrocks joined by Chris Banks in midfield, and multiple attacks up to the forward line of Phil Hope and Luca Sempers, but it was stalemate for 15 minutes.
The break came when a short corner was won, and a simple switch by Andy Mortimer to Alex Horrocks who struck a straight shot into the corner of the goal. It wasn’t long before a second goal was scored from another short corner, this time by Luca Sempers and his trademark drag flick, leaving the Horwich goalkeeper no hope.
Fylde continued attacking with pace down the flanks, from the likes of Ryan Nicholls, Duke Jones and Chris Walker, continually causing Horwich problems, and another short corner was won with Luca Sempers scoring a second in almost identical circumstances by another well executed drag flick. Fylde went into halftime comfortably 3-0 up.
The second half was a more open affair, and Horwich were invigorated after scoreing the next goal, however Fylde reopened their three goal lead when winning a further short corner, and Sempers completing his hat-trick of successful drag flicks. It has to be noted (from this admittedly biased reporter) that the corner was won when right back Pete Latimer made a once-a-decade run into the opposition D, was fed the ball, and had a one on one opportunity against the goalkeeper but could only manage to strike a defender’s foot with the ball.
Horwich scores a second goal in a counter attack, after Fylde were pushing too high up the pitch, but again Fylde came back with another goal themselves, this time the first from open play, when the ball was played to Phil Hope who made no mistake and ensured that he remained the team’s top scorer for the season, two ahead of Luca Sempers, and also club top scorer on 19 league goals.
The game finished 5-2 and instead of the traditional handshakes the team’s shared elbow shakes and tapping of sticks, due to the Covid-19 concerns. Luckily this was the last game of the season, and the team can be proud of finishing 4th in a competitive division and just one point off the promotion spot.
Preston 5XI 5-2 Fylde 3XI
North West Hockey League Division 3 North
Fylde 3's travelled to Preston Hockey Club for an ambitious end to the season, hoping yet again to end their poor season of results.
The first half began with some high intensity from both sides, equally attacking and defending well against each other. Fylde's passing was one of the positives for the first half, using the space around the pitch and showing real desire and determination to get a result. Preston were the first to open the score line, taking advantage of Fylde's poor marking, but it wasnt long before Fylde won a short corner and equalised with Jay Mayne's shot. The first half continued with added intensity, with both sides itching to get the better of the other. Preston scored again, overwhelming the Fylde defence to make it 2-1, but it wasn't long before Mayne was beating Preston players and setting up youngster Alex Eastham, who calmly slotted in at the far post to make it 2-2 at half time.
The second half was where Fylde's recent performances caught up with, with poor marking and passing coming back to haunt them. Preston took advantage in the second half and outperformed Fylde with their attacking flair, creativity and movement. The second half ended 5-2 to Preston. Fylde's man of the match was centre-back Andy Lund, who's defensive experience was key in denying the constant Preston attacks.
Fylde 4XI 1-3 Garstang 1XI
North West Hockey League Division 4 North North
Fylde Men’s 4’s had a full team for their penultimate game of the season at home, with even the luxury of a substitute, following last week’s away trip with just 6 players.
The visitors were the new rivals of Garstang 1’s who had an impressive four substitutes, and a coach, but it was Fylde who looked the more assured team in the first half, with the youngsters of Harry Gordon, Tim Woodman and Hugo Mace particularly impressing in midfield.
It took until the latter part of the first half for the first goal, for Fylde, following a great solo run from Tim Woodman. It was then disappointing that the lead didn’t last long when Garstang equalised and the game was 1-1 at halftime.
For no obvious reason, the second half slipped away from Fylde, Garstang were the better side and scored two more goals, ending the game 3-1 victors.
Fylde have one more game left of the season, at home against Keswick, in a rearranged game.