AFC Fylde Women host West Bromwich Albion Women on Sunday in their penultimate game of the 2022/23 season. 
The Coasters return to Kellamergh Park for the first of two consecutive home games in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division.
This fixture takes place on Sunday 23rd April, with kick-off at 2.00 pm. Without a game last weekend, James Mallett’s team have been working hard on the training ground with the aim of continuing their excellent form after winning three of their last four games.
The Coasters head into Sunday’s game off the back of a 1-0 victory over Huddersfield Town Women last time out. Fylde capped off a strong defensive display by scoring a late winner to return from West Yorkshire with all three points. A late penalty converted by Faye McCoy was enough to settle a hard-fought contest at the Stafflex Arena.
Jenny Sugarman’s Albion side has had to contend with a very busy fixture list in April, which is partly due to their progression in county cup competition. Sunday’s meeting with Fylde will already be their sixth game this month.
Last Sunday, Albion suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat to title-chasing Burnley Women at The Hawthorns. After the visitors had taken an early lead through Lizzie Hamer, the returning Kerry Walklett equalised for the Baggies six minutes later. However, the hosts trailed again early in the second half when Burnley’s Laura Elford volleyed home from inside the box.
As a result, the Baggies remained ninth in the table ahead of their midweek trip to Loughborough Lightning on Thursday evening.
When Fylde travelled to the West Midlands last September, the Baggies were making their debut at Keys Park in Hednesford and were looking to claim a maiden victory at their new home ground. On that day, the Coasters had to show great character and resolve to keep the hosts at bay and earn a goalless draw for their efforts.
Both teams were indebted to the heroics of their goalkeepers in an end-to-end contest. Ellie Etheridge made a string of fine saves for Fylde, including a crucial penalty save midway through the second half.
The Coasters will have to demonstrate the same battling qualities if they are to earn a positive result in the return fixture. Fans are encouraged to come along and show their support at Kellamergh Park this Sunday afternoon.
Words by Scott Jones