Timperley 2XI 1-3 Fylde 1XI
North Hockey League Division 3
As both teams were promoted last season, with Fylde missing out on the league title by losing away on the final game of the season to them, little motivation was needed for the lads. The game started at a frantic pace with it being far too open for Fylde’s liking, and were grateful to Nick Rainbow in pulling off a top quality save to keep the score level. However Fylde settled and started to exert some sustained pressure on the Timperley half and won a string of penalty corners with some fantastic work from Fylde’s front line. It was from one of these penalty corners that Fylde eventually took the lead through Jordan Payne after a well worked routine. The rest of the first half continued with Fylde having the vast majority of the possession and looking the more likely to add to their lead. However this was not to be and had to make do with a 1-0 lead at half time.
After an impassioned speech from skipper Major to not let the intensity drop in the second half, the team started appallingly and Timperley were level with 2 minutes of the restart. Despite the sloppy start to the second half Fylde’s character and determination, which has seen them through some tricky fixtures over the last 2 seasons, once again ensured they got control of the game and it only seemed a matter of time before the lead would be restored. With the second half only 10 minutes old the lead was restored after a penetrating pass from Simon Thomas, back in the side after a two week absence, fed James Oakes, who poked it round the keeper and with ice flowing though his veins executed a composed finish. The game continued with chances coming and going for Fylde to extend the lead, and it looked like it was going to be a comfortable path to victory, until with 15 minutes to go there was a game ending injury to experienced CB Swaine, meaning a reshuffle was required within the team. This seemed to give Timperley a ray of hope but with it they became frustration with this boiling on several occasions resulting in them being reduced to 10 men on three occasions. Every credit to the Fylde team who remained level headed throughout, and were rightly rewarded with the cushion they deserved with only a few minutes of time left, when a horrific pass from the Timperley CB put Oakes through one on one with the keeper, and with the same composure shown with the first he calmly slotted past to secure the victory.
This result takes Fylde 3 points clear over the Christmas break and having played the top 5 in the league away from home already, their destiny is firmly in their own hands.
Fylde 2XI 11-3 Formby 4XI
North West Hockey League Division 2 North
Fylde 2s secure their 5th win on the bounce!
It was a bitterly cold day at Mill Farm, meaning only a handful of season ticket holders had braved the weather to watch the reserves and sit in the ‘big stand’ over looking the Trilanco tin shed. With Andy Mortimer out injured, Chris Walker at a football match and Si Allen still managing/umpiring from the sideline, returning Charlie Parker, David Brown and Alan Simpson filled the void. With the visitors bottom of the league the home team needed to capitalise and reduce the goal difference between 3rd and 6th in the league before silly season kicked in. That meant however keeping a clean sheet if possible… Fylde started well with Luca Sempers blasting home from close range using the wrong side of his stick within the first five minutes, but Formby, a useful mix of youth and experience were not to be taken lightly netting 2 goals of their own in the first half. However it was the home team who found themselves 5-2 in front at the break with 2 further goals from Sempers to complete his hat-trick. Aaron Sadler and Ben Mortimer also got on the scoresheet. Unfortunately just before halftime Alan Simpson pulled up with a recurring injury that put him out for the remainder of the game. Worried that this left Fylde with 11, non-playing captain Simon Allen made the executive decision to switch to an attacking 3-4-3 formation. The second half started lively with Sadler on the rampage going past three defenders before finally being denied and knocked over by the Formby goalkeeper. This reduced the coasters to 10 for a brief spell while Allen carried out a concussion assessment. Youngster number 1, Ryan Nicholls, decided it was his turn to get on the scoresheet. Youngster number 2, Duke Jones, also scored claiming his first 2XI senior goal after stopping a Sempers bullet that was going wide of the goal. Jones, found himself with the ball at his feet and a deserted open goal in front of him to calmly slot home. Other notable performances came from Phil Hope adding to his top scorer tally, with 4 goals. The game finished 11-3 and was an all round good team performance that hopefully will be carried into next weeks last game before the break, away to Preston.
Rochdale 5-0 Fylde 3XI
North West Hockey League Division 3 North
Fylde 3s travelled to Rochdale with high hopes and a desire to end a poor run of form in division 3, but were unfortunately beaten 5-0. Fylde began well, with passing, communication and movement all being highly effective, but when Rochdale scored their first goal, it was the beginning of the end for Fylde as their performance dropped further and further as the game went on.
There were positives to take from Fylde's performance, with some impressive attacks from the younger players Harry Gordon, Hugo Mace, Tim Woodman and Alex Eastham, each of whom were very effective in passing the ball between themselves throughout multiple areas of the pitch, often winning free hits or short corners. Captain Holmes' poor shooting was one of the downfalls of the game, where three shots were insufficient to trouble the keeper and the fourth having to resort to a change in tactics and using the wide slips for a better scoring chance.
The half time team talk seemed to have an effect, where Holmes challenged all players to do better and show Rochdale they have the quality to play much better. The second half certainly showed an improved performance, with Fylde's passing and impressive communication from Harry Gordon being key in the team performance. Fylde were very unfortunate to concede a further two goals, but they can be proud that the second half performance was an improvement compared to the first.
Fylde are hoping the next two games against familiar foes Leyland and Chorley and Lancaster and Morecambe respectively, will bring a better series of results. Harry Gordon was man of the match for the Rochdale game, where his key tackling, passing and communication highlighted all the potential and quality this young man has to unleash.
Fylde 4XI 0-5 Lytham St. Annes 2XI
North West Hockey League Division 4 North North
It was a mini miracle that Fylde 4’s lined up with a full 11 after only having a definite 7 the previous evening. However debuts were given to Connor McClelland, who impressed in midfield, and Matt Simpson, Steve Perruzza was dragged out of retirement to play upfront whilst Rob Dingle was given t he central midfield role in his second outing of the season.
The mix of experience and youth may have had a chance against most teams but they were up against the runaway league leaders Lytham 2’s, consisting of some experienced quality players, several of who were playing in their 1’s in the Northern league just a few years ago.
Lytham bossed the game from the start however were denied by some solid defending from Jack Kenmare, Andy Lund, Pete Latimer and Oscar Harkins together with some fantastic saves from Danny Taylor in goal. Fylde had some counter attacks from Rob Dingle’s aerials which Matt Simpson ran onto, and also runs from Dan Howe, but couldn’t quite get a shot on target. Fylde were rightfully proud of going into the break 0-0 but it wasn’t long before Lytham broke the deadlock with two goals in the first five minutes of the second half. From then on, the result was no longer in doubt, and they went on to score another three for a 5-0 win.