Fylde Ladies bagged a late winner in a topsy-turvy Women’s Premier League encounter away at Nottingham Forest Ladies.

Laura Merrin opened the scoring early on and whilst Forest drew level, further goals from Olivia Wilkes and Leah Foster put the Coasters in complete control. However two goals inside one second-half minute evened up the scores

Fylde’s Sophie Carlton was to have the final say when she slotted home with just five minutes remaining.

Fresh from a 2-2 draw against second-placed Huddersfield Town, the Coasters flew out of the blocks and broke the deadlock after just seven minutes. Wilkes whipped a free-kick into the box that fell kindly for Merrin, who took a touch before stroking the ball past Forest stopper Rebecca Thomas.

The home side were level inside 20 minutes in bizarre fashion when back-pass bobbled over goalkeeper Alex Brooks’ foot and rolled agonisingly into her own goal. 

Coasters forward Foster was proving a handful after first latching on to Alys Hinchcliffe’s neat pass and seeing her strike saved before jinxing through the Forest backline and firing straight at Thomas.

Hinchcliffe herself came close to scoring midway through the half when she pounced on a loose ball in the box before lashing her effort over the bar.

Fylde were back ahead on the half-hour mark when Wilkes curled home a stunning free-kick from the edge of the area.

The visitors gave themselves some breathing space with a third goal after the break. Emily Hollinshead made a great run down the wing before cutting the ball inside to Foster who was initially denied by Thomas, however she was quick off the mark to lap up the rebound.

A nightmare one-minute spell moments later allowed Forest back into the game. 

Captain Kelly Darby pulled one back from close range before Hollinshead conceded a penalty 60 seconds later that was duly dispatched by Hazzana Parnell.

Whilst a third draw in four games was looking increasingly likely, Charlton had other ideas, chasing a pass through the backline and tucking the ball into the bottom corner to claim all three points.

Fylde captain Danielle Young was delighted with the character of her side: “The girls definitely deserved to win and they worked their socks off.

“You’ve got to grind out results sometimes and I think coming off the back of Thursday, where we let a two-goal advantage slip, today could have easily gone the same way. 

“I think the girls showed great character and great willingness to want to come away with those three points.”

Young was also pleased to be back out on the pitch after recovering from long-term injury: “I was bit achy but it feels good to be back. I’ve had a couple of games now and this is my third game where I’ve got some minutes. 

“I felt great on Thursday when I came off so I knew I had at least 10 more minutes in me. I think I came off in the 70th minute on Sunday so I had to push myself because that’s the only way to get back to full fitness. It’s been a long five months but I got through it and I’m back.”