AFC Fylde Women were left to rue their missed chances on Sunday in a heavy 4-0 defeat against Newcastle United Women at Kellamergh Park.
The Coasters competed well for large spells of the game but were undone by some clinical finishing by Becky Langley’s newly promoted Newcastle side, who took home all three points in their first-ever appearance in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division.
Bridget Galloway put the Magpies ahead within the opening quarter of an hour. Fylde worked hard to find a route back into the game and came close to a leveller on several occasions.
However, Galloway doubled Newcastle’s advantage early in the second half before Amber-Keegan Stobbs volleyed in a third and Georgia Gibson netted a fourth to put the game to bed.
It turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for Jack Garside’s Fylde team, who struggled to contain a potent Newcastle attack as the second half progressed.
Despite being on the wrong end of the result, the Coasters can only grow stronger from the lessons learned playing against such high-quality opposition.
On a balmy summer’s afternoon, both teams raced out of the blocks and looked to seize the initiative. Charlotte Potts fired a warning sign in the sixth minute when her angled strike rattled the crossbar.
Moments later, Ginny Lackey played a free-kick out wide to Lily Murphy, whose menacing cross was collected by visiting goalkeeper Hannah Reid. Lackey then fizzed a shot just wide of the upright.
Newcastle went ahead in the 12th minute when Galloway raced on to Emma Kelly’s through ball and looped the ball over the advancing Fylde goalkeeper Liz Craven for the opener.
Jodie Redgrave almost found an instant leveller when she met Murphy’s pinpoint corner with a towering header that flew just over the crossbar.
At the other end, Craven was called into action twice in quick succession to deny Elysia Boddy and then Kacie Elson from close range.
Fylde continued to surge forward, and Murphy nearly capped a superb solo run with a goal, but Reid made a crucial save to preserve the visitors’ lead.
On the stroke of half-time, the Coasters were desperately unlucky not to equalise. After Reid parried an initial shot from the right, substitute Lois Moore saw her rebound denied by the frame of the goal.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-1 Newcastle United Women
At the start of the second half, it was the visitors’ turn to be thwarted by the woodwork. On this occasion, Magpies substitute Naomi Bedeau hit a first-time shot from the edge of the area that thundered off the crossbar before being hooked away by the Fylde defence.
Applying a high press, Newcastle captain Stobbs stole possession on the edge of the Fylde box and played the ball across to Galloway, who converted from six yards out for her second goal in the 53rd minute.
On the hour mark, the Magpies extended their lead when Dodds delivered an inviting cross from the right that Stobbs expertly volleyed into the far corner to make it 3-0.
At the other end, Fylde substitute Clara Samson raced through on goal but dragged her effort narrowly wide of the post.
In the closing stages, Galloway almost bagged a hat-trick when she produced an audacious overhead kick that bounced down off the underside of the crossbar before Craven recovered well to block the rebound from point-blank range.
Newcastle added gloss to the scoreline in stoppage time when Gibson took aim from just inside the box and drilled a left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-4 Newcastle United Women
It is a quick turnaround for the Coasters, who are back in action on Thursday evening with the visit of Burnley FC Women to Kellamergh Park. This league fixture against the Claret Women is scheduled for Thursday, 7 September, with kick-off at 7.45 pm.
AFC Fylde Women: Craven, Thomas, Strutton (70’ Beresford), Hamill, Binks (60’ Bickett), Rowe, Heria (35’ Siddall), Redgrave (43’ Moore), Samson, Lackey, Murphy
Unused substitute: Hunter
Newcastle United Women: Reid, Watt, Potts, Bartle (42’ Bedeau), Dodds (64’ Ferguson), Boddy (82’ Milne Redhead), Greenwood, Elson, Stobbs, Kelly (73’ Gibson), Galloway
Unused substitute: Nelson
Report by Scott Jones