AFC Fylde Women are back on the road this Sunday when they make the trip to Loughborough Lightning for a league game that has been brought forward by several weeks.

As a result, James Mallett’s Coasters are straight back in action in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division for what promises to be a competitive encounter with Loughborough Lightning.

This upcoming fixture will be held at the Loughborough University Stadium on Sunday, 26th March, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.

The last time that the Coasters travelled to Loughborough was for their final game of the 2021/22 season. On a sunny afternoon last April, Fylde wanted to finish the season on a high note, but it was not to be for the visitors. Instead, the Lightning proved to be more clinical in front of goal and secured a 4-1 win on home soil.

After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the game sprung to life in the second half with two quick-fire goals for the hosts, followed by a wonder goal from Emily Hollinshead to halve the deficit. In an end-to-end finale, the Lightning put the game out of reach by scoring twice more to wrap up the victory.

In the reverse fixture earlier this season, both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils in a 2-2 draw at Kellamergh Park.

On that day in October, the Coasters raced into a commanding lead in the first period with goals from Emily Hollinshead and Faye McCoy. In the second period, the Lightning battled back to draw level and earn a valuable point for their efforts.

The Coasters returned to winning ways last weekend when they clinched a 2-1 victory away to Stoke City FC Women at the Emery’s Stadium.

Despite trailing at the interval, Fylde made an impressive comeback in the second half with goals from Amy Hughes and Alex Taylor. The result lifted the Coasters into eighth in the table, having amassed 17 points from 17 games.

Reflecting on last Sunday’s win, James Mallett commented: “We must continue to push ourselves and maintain our focus. Now we can enjoy the three points, but believe me, the focus is already on our next game.”

With that in mind, the Coasters are fully focused on the challenges ahead in their remaining five games of the season, and on Sunday, they will be aiming to return from Loughborough with a positive result this time around.

Words by Scott Jones