AFC Fylde Women fell to a 2-0 defeat against Derby County FC Women last Sunday after an end-to-end contest at Kellamergh Park.
Despite creating a host of goalscoring opportunities, the Coasters just could not find the back of the net to reward their excellent build-up play.
Instead, the Ewe Rams went ahead through Amy Sims’ wonder strike late in the first half and held on, before Sophie Domingo added a second goal on the stroke of full-time.
It was a cruel blow for Danielle Young’s and Kim Turner’s team to take after coming agonisingly close to scoring on numerous occasions, twice hitting the woodwork, and twice failing to convert from the penalty spot.
Samantha Griffiths’ Derby County came away with all three points to consolidate their position in second, while Fylde remain third in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division. In the reverse league fixture in December, the Coasters earned a valuable point in a goalless stalemate at the Don Amott Arena.
The Coasters made three changes to their line-up with Jenna Carroll and Danielle Young coming into the defence and Amy Hughes starting up front.
In a lively opening, both goalkeepers were soon called into action. In the 10th minute, Jess Holbrook played a short corner and sent a teasing cross to the near post that Derby County keeper Imogen Maguire did well to collect under pressure.
Fylde keeper Ellie Etheridge then made a smart save to turn Emilia Wilson’s shot around the post. From the resulting corner, Jade Formaston headed harmlessly wide.
In the 22nd minute, the Coasters almost broke the deadlock when Jodie Redgrave expertly controlled the ball inside the box and squared to Faye McCoy, whose shot clipped the outside of the post with Maguire rooted to the spot.
As the hosts drove forward again, Hannah Forster took aim from distance and crashed a powerful shot against the crossbar before Redgrave hit the rebound over.
Derby County responded when Ellie Gillatt received the ball on the left, darted inside and flashed an effort wide. Gillatt produced a carbon copy of the move to set up the visitors’ opening goal in the 39th minute. After regaining possession on the left, Gillatt raced into the box and centred to Amy Sims, whose first-time strike found the top left corner of the net.
The Coasters almost equalised instantly as Redgrave played in Hughes, who scooped the ball over the advancing Maguire and on to the roof of the net. Hughes was inches away from drawing Fylde level.Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-1 Derby County FC Women
The Coasters continued to search for a way back into the contest. In the 58th minute, Merrin delivered a corner to the back post for Faye McCoy to head on target, but Maguire gathered comfortably.
McCoy threatened again when she steered a low cross towards the bottom corner, but it deflected wide for another corner kick. With the pressure mounting, Fylde won a penalty in the 64th minute when Hughes burst into the area, only to be tripped by Sarah Jackson. McCoy then saw her penalty saved by Maguire, who dived the right way to preserve Derby County’s lead.
Following Maguire’s goalkeeping heroics, the Ewe Rams doubled their advantage through Sophie Domingo. From Maguire’s long kick up field, the ball bounced favourably into the path of Domingo, who raced clear and drilled a right-footed shot into the bottom corner.
It was a clinical finish to put the icing on the cake for the visitors. Domingo seemed certain to score again moments later when she found herself one-on-one with Etheridge, but the Fylde keeper blocked Domingo’s strike from point-blank range.
Deep into stoppage time, Emily Hollinshead dribbled between two defenders before being fouled just inside the area. The referee pointed to the spot, and McCoy stepped up again to take the penalty.
Unfortunately, McCoy dragged her spot-kick inches wide of the post. It was the last action of the game as the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-2 Derby County FC Women
Next up, the Coasters will look to bounce back when they entertain Stoke City Women at Kellamergh Park on Sunday 10th April. This FAWNL Northern Premier Division fixture is scheduled for a 2.00 pm kick-off.
AFC Fylde Women: Etheridge, Forster, Carroll, Young, Holbrook (79′ Bartley), Hollinshead, Merrin, Redgrave, Fryer, Hughes, McCoy
Unused substitutes: Fuller, Whitaker.