AFC Fylde Women suffered their first defeat of the month with a 4-0 reverse to in-form Derby County Women at Kellamergh Park.

In their third successive home game in a fortnight, Jack Garside’s Fylde looked to extend their unbeaten run since the turn of October when they hosted Samantha Griffiths’s Derby County on Sunday afternoon.

Unfortunately, it proved to be a step too far for the Coasters as high-flying Derby County scored four goals without reply to register their fourth consecutive away win of the season. The Ewe Rams showed their attacking prowess with goals from Rebecca May, Amy Sims, Emelia Wilson and Kira Rai.

On a bright afternoon at Kellamergh Park, Fylde started on the front foot and came within inches of taking the lead inside seven minutes. After a marauding run down the left, Lily Murphy drove into the box and unleashed a superb effort that cannoned off the top of the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Rebecca May put Derby County ahead with a left-footed strike from the edge of the area that crashed in off the underside of the crossbar. Eleanor Ashton stole possession high up the pitch and squared to May, who curled a sublime effort into the back of the net. Fylde goalkeeper Liz Craven got a glove to it but could not keep it out.

The Coasters searched for an equaliser with wave after wave of attacks. Iszy Binks’s corner kick picked out Emma Siddall, who glanced a header just wide of the post. In the 16th minute, Fylde launched a counterattack as Ginny Lackey flicked on a header to Murphy, who broke clear and drew a smart save from visiting goalkeeper Anna Draper at her near post.

At the other end, Derby County came close to a second goal when Ashton ran onto a long ball over the top and prodded a shot against the base of the post before the rebound was cleared to safety.

The visitors held a slender one-goal lead as the first half drew to a close.

Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-1 Derby County Women

Within minutes after the restart, the Coasters threatened again when Binks’s corner was kept alive by Beth Strutton, who pulled the ball back to Murphy for a sight of goal. Murphy’s first-time shot forced a smart save from Draper, who scrambled to gather under pressure from Lauren Heria.

In the 49th minute, Derby County doubled their lead with a corner-kick routine of their own. May swung the ball towards the near post and captain Amy Sims nodded home from point-blank range after the Fylde defence struggled to clear their lines.

The visitors extended their lead in the 70th minute when Emelia Wilson intercepted a misplaced clearance and lifted the ball over Craven with a spectacular long-range effort to make it 3-0.

As the game entered the final minutes, the Ewe Rams were awarded a penalty after substitute Jess Camwell went down in the box under pressure from Fylde skipper Sasha Rowe. Charlotte Steggles stepped up to take the resulting penalty but fired high over the crossbar.

As the Coasters pressed high up the pitch in stoppage time, Derby County punished them on the counter as substitute Kira Rai netted a fourth to put added gloss on the scoreline. May threaded a through ball to Rai, who sprinted clear and slotted past Craven with a neat side-footed finish.

It rounded off a difficult afternoon for the Coasters, who will now have to regroup and go again in the coming weeks.

Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-4 Derby County Women 

Next up, the Coasters turn their focus to the FA Women’s National League Cup this Sunday when they take on Durham Cestria at Kellamergh Park. This Second Round tie takes place on Sunday 29th October, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.

AFC Fylde Women: Craven, Binks, Hamill (79′ James), Strutton, Thomas (70′ Devereaux), Siddall, Rowe, Heria (60′ Beresford), Samson, Murphy, Lackey (63′ Moore).

Derby County Women: Draper, Sims, Tinsley, Steggles (89’ Ward), Jackson, Wilson (80’ Sutherland), Joyce, Mosby (72’ Rai), Ashton (72’ Camwell), Jenkins (73’ Timms), May

Report by Scott Jones