AFC Fylde Women are looking to improve on their recent form when they travel to Stoke City FC Women this Sunday for another crucial game in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division.
James Mallett’s Fylde are working hard to achieve a strong finish to the season, starting with Sunday’s trip to Staffordshire for a meeting with the Potters.
This fixture will be played at Norton Sports Club in Stoke-on-Trent, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.
When the two sides met in the reverse fixture last October, the Coasters came within minutes of claiming a victory but had to settle for a share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Kellamergh Park.
Beth Roberts opened the scoring for the visitors in the 20th minute, before Amy Hughes equalised for the hosts six minutes later with an unstoppable finish from distance.
Shortly afterwards, Fylde went ahead through Alex Taylor, who took aim from the edge of the area and found the top corner with a wonder strike to make it 2-1.
The Coasters would have sealed all three points but for a last-gasp equaliser by the Potters. In stoppage time, the hosts failed to clear their lines, and Naomi Bedeau tapped home to rescue a point for Stoke City.
Last weekend, the Coasters suffered a 4-1 home defeat against high-flying Wolves Women. In spite of the scoreline, Fylde could draw some positives from a resilient performance against title-chasing opposition.
After their midweek fixture against Liverpool Feds was postponed due to adverse weather conditions, the Coasters remain tenth in the table having collected 14 points from 16 games.
Meanwhile, Stoke City occupy sixth place with 23 points after 17 games, including a 2-1 away win at Boldmere St Michaels Women last Tuesday evening. Second-half goals from Naomi Bedeau and Roisin Kivel completed a late comeback for the Potters, who came away from the West Midlands with maximum points.
And on Sunday, the Coasters will have to be firing on all cylinders if they are to come away from Staffordshire with a positive result.
Words by Scott Jones