Lancaster & Morecambe 1XI 3-4 Fylde Mens 1XI
North Hockey League Division 3
Top of the league Fylde continued their unbeaten run with a hard fought 4-3 away at bottom side Lancaster and Morecambe. Fylde brought goalkeeper and new signing Nick Rainbow into the squad, further increasing their quota of ex-Blackpool players.
Fylde took the lead early, a well executed penalty corner flicked home by Josh Payne. But Fylde quickly learned they weren’t going to get everything their way in the game and Morecambe struck back quickly. As the gaps opened up in Fylde’s midfield, the opposition took full advantage, firstly scoring on the counter attack to level and then shortly after taking the lead when Fylde failed to clear their lines from an initial Rainbow save. Half time couldn’t come quick enough for the away side as tempers flared and their passing was starting to look wayward. HT 1-2
Fylde went into the second half with a fresh attitude and equalised through another penalty corner, this time Jordan Payne applying the finish. Chris Banks, the Fylde ‘Ngolo Kante’ stepped up his game and begun to control the midfield with his range of passing and solid defending. As they pushed for an equaliser, Fylde went down to 10 men, twice, and that ultimately buoyed Morecambe to fight back. First, a penalty corner was cleared off the line by skipper Simon Major, but the second moments later was volleyed in, 3-2 and game back in the home sides hand.
Fylde stayed calm (ish) though and continued to press hard for goals. Another corner saw Josh Boyne set up Sam Bury for a well timed deflection in. The winner was created by some smart play from Man of the match Jordan Payne, beating a man before unselfishly setting up James Oakes for a tap in. 4-3 win and Fylde very much relieved to take all three points against a team who played at a standard much higher than their league position would suggest. Fylde take on Oxton next weekend.
Fylde 2XI 0-2 Didsbury 4XI
North West Hockey League Division 2 North
Fylde’s second team hosted top of the league and unbeaten Didsbury 4s in the early push back at Mill Farm.
The game was always going to be tough, against a team who have only conceded 3 goals so far this season. Fylde weathered early pressure but countered leaving one on one opportunities for Luca Sempers and Martin Hayes who failed to capitalise.
Disbury gained some composure and played some nice, simple hockey but some resolute defending from Alex Brandwood stopped any chances from being converted. A foot inside the D after 25 minutes lead to Didsbury’s first penalty corner of the half which was smartly finished, high into the top corner.
The second half saw Fylde start brightly and stepped up a gear, with Ryan Nicholls and Charlie Parker showing their worth up the flanks leading to more unconverted chances inside the oppositions D. A counter attack from Didsbury saw them flood Fylde's half, leading to some last ditch defending and ultimately resulted in Fylde conceding their first penalty flick of the season. This was Didsbury's opportunity to further their lead, but a smart dive to goalkeeper Danny Taylor's left, was enough to cover the goal, and the Didsbury player could only watch his effort zip past the post.
Didsbury eventually added one more, playing two touch hockey, neatly finishing with a deflection past Danny Taylor. As Fylde pressed late into the second half for a goal to get back into the game, frustration set in and Fylde were reduced to 8 men with 3 yellow cards in quick succession.
All in all, a much improved performance from the second team, who should be pleased with their performance overall against an opposition who are considered by some to run away with the league title.
Next week, a double weekend for the second team who take on Horwich 1s and Preston 4s respectively and should be looking at taking 3 points from both.
Wigton 1XI 9-0 Fylde 3XI
North West Hockey League Division 3 North
Following the disappointment of watching England lose in the Rugby World Cup final the 3rd team drove 100 miles up to Cumbria only to lose 9-0 to joint league leaders Wigton.
The game was effectively over after 10 minutes when Wigton had put 4 past Fylde in an impressive display of clinical finishing and interplay between the forwards. Fylde steadied themselves and held firm for the remainder of the first half, although never really threatened the Wigton goal.
Fylde had a tactical rearrangement at half time and came out the stronger, enjoying longer spells of possession and a few attacks around the Wigton D. However this only lasted ten minutes or so, and before long Wigton were back on top, and scored another 5 goals.
Young Tim Woodman was voted the man of the match for his assured performance in midfield, particularly in the second half when he played in the centre.
Fylde 4XI 0-2 Windermere 2XI
North West Hockey League Division 4 North North
Fylde 4s hosted Windermere 2s and knew they had a battle in store, with only 10 men available for the home team, whilst Windermere were replete with subs. An experimental 3-3-2-1 formation worked rather well, and although Windermere got a few shots away, Danny Taylor in goal was absolutely superb.
Fylde got to half time with the score at 0-0, no mean achievement at all. Perhaps predictably, Windermere did score eventually when Fylde possibly over-committed when they were awarded an attacking short corner. The shot was deflected leaving the keeper with no chance.
At 1-0, Fylde were still in the game. A second goal for Windermere killed the game off, although the details of it completely elude the author, even though he was definitely on the pitch.
So a defeat, but much to take from the game. Martin Stringfellow demonstrated how the game can still be played beautifully, even when under considerable pressure. Phil Hope and Luke Hope, barely distinguishable bar their slightly different hairstyles, showed class and skill in midfield.
Richard Clarke was immense at right back, Sam Ayoma but in a huge amount of effort up and down the right wing and Jack Kenmare battled hard to keep a high line in the fruitless task as a lone striker.
Hugo Mace showed why he's so highly thought of with a great display of retaining possession even under pressure, but the star of the show was left back Ollie Greenwood. His first senior game, the epitome of calmness, you'd think he'd been playing for years. He will be playing for years to come, and will undoubtedly develop into a very fine player. The stand in captain (Andy Lund) played OK.