AFC Fylde Women travel to the East Midlands on Sunday for a challenging away game against Nottingham Forest Women.

This fixture will be played at Grange Park on Sunday, 10th September, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.

It has been a difficult start to the new campaign for Jack Garside’s team, who have played three successive home games within less than a fortnight.

In their first home game of the season, the Coasters tasted victory after staging a late comeback to beat Chorley Women 2-1 in the FAWNL Cup and thus secure their passage into the next round.

The Coasters went on to taste defeat last Sunday in a 4-0 reverse to newly promoted Newcastle United Women. Becky Langley’s Magpies proved to be too strong on the day and deservedly came away with all three points.

And last Thursday, Fylde faced another tough test when they entertained Rebecca Sawiuk’s Burnley Women under the lights at Kellamergh Park. Despite matching their opponents for the majority of the contest, the Coasters suffered a 3-0 defeat to the Claret Women.

The scoreline did not tell the whole story of the game, in which the Coasters were desperately unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. A strong Burnley outfit made the breakthrough in the first half when Leah Embley fired into the bottom corner. Lily Murphy almost equalised for Fylde just before half-time but was denied by the upright. Aimee Kelly made an instant impact off the bench by adding two goals late in the second half to seal a win that lifted Burnley to the top of the table.

Although Fylde came away empty-handed, Garside’s team can only learn from these setbacks as they continue their development. The fixtures come thick and fast for the Coasters, who are now preparing to face last season’s league champions Nottingham Forest Women.

Carly Davies’s Reds have made a blistering start to the season with two wins from as many league games. A 7-0 home victory over Stourbridge Women on the opening day was followed by a 4-1 away win at West Bromwich Albion Women last weekend.

Having not played in midweek, Forest will be focused on extending their unbeaten start when they welcome Fylde to Grange Park on Sunday. The Coasters will have to be at their best if they are to come away from the East Midlands with a positive result.

Words by Scott Jones