City of Manchester 1XI 2-3 Fylde 1XI
North Hockey League Division 3
Fylde’s first team continued their unbeaten start to the season with a narrow 3-2 win away at City of Manchester. With five regulars unavailable, Fylde gave Alex Horrocks and Alex Brandwood their first call ups to the side in this campaign.
Fylde found themselves easily on top in the first half, but struggled to finish off their attacking chances and the half played itself out with only some ‘half’ chances at best. They did lead at the half way mark however, taking the lead through a penalty corner. An improvised routine resulted in the ball bouncing around the D before finding James Oakes to fire home. HT 1-0
The second half was a completely different game; end to end, intense and at times physical. City of Manchester responded from a corner of their own, making no mistake off a rebound. Fylde though still probably edged the chances being created and their lead quickly returned. Jordan Payne fed Alex Horrocks, who calmly took his time before striking above the desperate dive of the keeper. Fylde’s third was probably the best of the game, a delicate deflection from Horrocks sold both Manchester defenders, leaving Oakes to do what he does best and smash home from the top D. 3-1.
But there was a final twist as Fylde lost two players to yellow cards, inviting some unwanted pressure in the final 10 minutes. Keeper Nigel Sadler stood up to the challenge, making a series of impressive one on one saves, earning him the man of the match award. With 5 to go, COM pulled one back and looked as though they might yet take a point when Fylde twice went down to 10 through further suspensions. But as the final whistle blew, their final chance ended with Sadler again making the save. Fylde claiming all three points.
In the early league table, Fylde are level at the top and face 3rd place Neston in a week’s time.
Fylde 2XI 2-4 Southport 2XI
North West Hockey League Division 2 North
Despite the return of ex-Blackpool 1st team regulars Dave Morgan and Rob Dingle strengthening the squad, Fylde Mens 2's were unable to defeat Southport 2's at home in the 1st game of the day at Fylde Education and Sports Centre.
The coasters took the lead midway through the first half after a strike by Caine Draper from the edge of the circle found its way past the Southport number 1. Fylde managed to concede four goals over the course of the 2nd half with the game finishing 4-2 to Southport. They travel to Northern next Saturday with a 1345 start.
Fylde 3XI 0-2 Rochdale 2XI
North West Hockey League Division 3 North
Another tough game for the Fylde 3s. The team came into the game raring to go after a bad start to the season and began very strong, with some great communication, movement and passing, the Fylde team were looking to put an end to their poor form. Rochdale however, had other ideas. They were equally strong and performed very well throughout the game to match Fylde for each aspect of the game.
The Rochdale side saw some decent passes and advances up field to give them a 1-0 lead at half time. The second half started just as strong as the first, with the Fylde players itching to get the goal back they deserved. The Fylde players were looking a lot stronger in the second half, with their passing and communication becoming even more apparent. There were plenty of chances created but were unlucky to get on the scoresheet.
Rochdale's break half way through the second half resulted in another goal, where a fine shot from the corner of the D crept it's way into the goal to make it 2-0.
Despite the result, Fylde can hold their heads high and take some positives from this performance and hope their next game will reflect the hard work they put in today.
Lytham St. Annes 2XI 3-2 Fylde 4XI
North West Hockey League Division 4 North North
Fylde managed to stretch their development squad so that both the Men’s 3’s & 4’s had a full 11 players, which was one better than the 4’s last game a fortnight ago. Although it was only 10 until Dan Howe turned up with a couple of minutes to go, having been confused by the instructions that we were playing at the AKS school pitch.
The game was notable for the debut of 13 year old Oscar Harkins, the man of the match performance from another youngster Luke Hope, and the return from semi-retirement of the Blackpool 2nd team record top scorer Martin Hayes.
Fylde started the brighter with some calm passing and moving, but the Lytham defence held firm, especially the goalkeeper who saved several close range shots. Lytham started to string some attacks together and won several short corners but each were repelled. The game remained even until late in the half when Lytham managed to score twice with counter attacks that split the Fylde defence and each time they found a man in space to slot home.
Fylde went 3-0 down following a Lytham counter-attack early in the second half, but with thoughts of their remarkable comeback in Cockermouth two weeks earlier, Fylde started to battle for the ball and keep possession of the ball. Luke Hope dribbled well on the left wing, and one of his attacks into the D led to Martin Hayes taking the ball, spinning and shooting past the goalkeeper. A few minutes later, in similar circumstances, Hayes scored his second.
Fylde now believed they could equalise, and even take the lead, but Lytham’s goalkeeper made numerous saves to shots from Hayes and his striking partner Dan Howe, and the game eventually finished 3-2 to Lytham.