Fylde 1XI P-P City of Manchester 1XI
North Hockey League Division 3
Southport 2XI 3-5 Fylde 2XI
North West Hockey League Division 2 North
Fylde’s second team travelled to a blustery Southport on a clear and frosty Saturday morning for an early afternoon pushback.
Looking to maintain their push for promotion, Fylde knew they would be in for a hard match against a physical Southport side.
The games early moments were played inside the Southport half with a high press and quick ball pace. Si Thomas on debut, looked to capitalise on a mistake by a Southport defender with a smart reverse shot that thudded against the backboard. 1-0 to Fylde.
Almost immediately following the restart Fylde headed towards the Southport D, continuing their high press, looking to extend their lead. An experienced Southport side sent two forwards high to open space for their midfield and with a quick counter attack were back in the game at 1-1.
Phil Hope made sure his name was on the scoresheet with another top strike but Fylde seem to tire, their shape and positioning wavered and heads began to drop. With a knot in their stomachs, feeling their promotion chances slip away Fylde went in at the break 3-2 down.
Fylde knew that a quick goal would get Southport on the back foot. Luca ‘McGregor’ Sempers hadn’t had much luck in front of goal during the first half but managed to place the ball onto a Southport foot inside the D giving Fylde’s
Alex Horrocks the chance to level the scores from a well worked short corner. 3-3.
With a renewed sense of urgency and better shape to their play, Fylde pressed again. Southport’s D was peppered with off target shots and scrappy goal line clearances which left Fylde wondering how this game wasn’t put to bed. With 15 minutes to go, Fylde pushed again, this time leaving Southport no option but to prevent the ball hitting the backboard by stopping the ball illegally with a defenders foot on the line. Penalty stroke to Fylde. Up stepped midfielder Alex Horrocks again who neatly dispatched the penalty, 4-3 to Fylde and 15 minutes to play.
Southport seemed to gain some focus and push forward searching for their equaliser. In doing so, left gaps in their defence and with 10 minutes to go Alex Horrocks rounded off a fine second half performance with another goal to complete his hat-trick.
The game finished 5-3 to Fylde and another 3 points away from home. A hard, scrappy victory but one that maintains pressure on Leyland and Chorley each week with only the 1 point separating the two sides.
Next week, Big Stand HC host Preston 4XI in their second meeting of the season in a matter of weeks.
Golborne 2XI 3-1 Fylde 3XI
North West Hockey League Division 3 North
With a bare minimum 11 players and one carload of players only arriving 2 minutes before the start for the pre-midday pushback, Fylde weren’t hopeful of their chances against Golborne, the 4th placed team. It didn’t take long before Golborne took the lead when their main striker had a strike on goal from the edge of the D but at an acute angle that somehow managed to sneak into the goal.
Fylde started to compete in midfield, but it was Golborne who were next to score with a well worked short corner routine. Jack Williams who was playing central midfield pulled a muscle, and with no substitutes had to be positioned upfront as an immobile striker, and captain Ollie Holmes moved back into defence with Phil Weir pushing up into his preferred midfield position. Fylde put a few good moves together, using both Richard Clarke on the left flank and Duke Jones on the right wing. A short corner was won, and after the injector Jack Williams was sent to the halfway line for making a double move (probably only shaking his dodgy muscle), Ollie Holmes injected to Jay Mayne who rifled off a shot straight at the goalkeeper who lay sidelong to save it, but Holmes acted quickest by diving and lifting the ball over the keeper for an impressive goal.
ylde started the second half the brighter of the two sides, and put a lot of pressure onto Golborne, including winning several short corners. However none were converted, despite some close saves and near misses. After this spell of pressure, it was a Golborne counter attack, and a long ball to an unmarked striker which led to their 3rd goal, after a physical one-on-one with Fylde’s goalkeeper Stephen Pope. Pope argued too strenuously with the umpire and was awarded a yellow card. Fylde had to defend without a goalkeeper for a whole 5 minutes, and then to add to the difficulty Jack Williams was given a green card so for two minutes there were only 9 players. However they managed to keep Golborne out of the D without a shot on goal before Pope was let back on the pitch. Fylde were unable to find a goal, never mind two, in the remaining five minutes, and so another loss 3-1 this time, but also another positive performance and sometime soon their luck has to change. Duke Jones was voted the man of the match.
Fylde 4XI P-P Keswick 3XI
North West Hockey League Division 4 North North