AFC Fylde Women endured a tough afternoon on Sunday with a 6-0 loss to Nottingham Forest Women at Kellamergh Park.
The Coasters were on the wrong end of a dominant display by Carly Davies’ Forest side, who established a three-goal lead by the hour mark, before plundering three more goals in the closing minutes to add gloss to the final scoreline.
It was a familiar tale for Fylde, who worked hard to stay in the contest, only to be punished in the latter stages by their promotion-chasing opposition.
Fylde’s First Team Managers Jake Williams and Steve Mainwaring have had a difficult start to their tenure after facing the current three top sides in the division in various competitions.
The visitors’ late flurry of goals should not overshadow what was a spirited and hard-working performance by the Coasters. However, plaudits should also go to Forest for their ruthlessness in front of goal as they continued their unbeaten start to 2024.
Ahead of kick-off, the Coasters were delighted to announce the signing of Natasha Dale on a dual registration with Blackburn Rovers Women. Dale made her debut in midfield alongside skipper Sasha Rowe, Iszy Binks, and Clara Samson. Megan Hunter kept her place between the sticks, while Demi Devereaux partnered Alex Taylor in attack.
Fylde started on the front foot and looked to get in behind the Forest backline. In the opening minutes, Samson almost broke clear but was flagged for offside. Holly Manders then flashed a shot narrowly wide of the post for the visitors.
Forest went ahead in the 13th minute after Alice Keitley capitalised on a goalmouth scramble. Abi Cowie’s cross found Sophie Domingo, whose attempt was saved by Hunter, before Manders saw her rebound cleared off the line by Fylde defender Codie Thomas. The loose ball dropped to Keitley, who fired home from six yards out.
As Fylde searched for an equaliser, Samson burst down the flank and whipped an inviting cross into the box, but nobody could get on the end of it.
With half an hour elapsed, there was a break in play as Freya Thomas received treatment for a knock and made way for Louanne Worsey. Minutes after her introduction, Worsey took aim from distance and drew a smart save from Hunter.
On the cusp of half-time, the Reds doubled their lead when Manders and Worsey combined well to set up Domingo inside the box, and Domingo’s first-time effort found the back of the net, despite Hunter getting a glove to it. As a result, the visitors went into the break with a two-goal cushion.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-2 Nottingham Forest Women
In the second half, Forest’s relentless pressure yielded a third goal in the 57th minute. After playing a short corner with Rebecca Anderson, Mollie Green sent a deep cross to the back post, where Charlotte Greengrass was on hand to convert from close range.
Just past the hour-mark, the Coasters were unlucky to concede a penalty when Manders’ cross hit Thomas’ outstretched arm at close quarters. However, the Reds spurned the chance to extend their advantage as Manders blazed her penalty over the bar.
At the other end, Fylde attempted to pull a goal back as Nicola James’ free-kick was initially blocked before Rowe’s follow-up effort was gathered by Forest goalkeeper Emily Batty.
Minutes later, Green was shown the red card, leaving Forest to see out the game with ten players.
In the 87th minute, Forest launched a counterattack as Anderson slid in Worsey on the edge of the box, and Worsey dribbled around Hunter before turning the ball into an empty net.
As the game entered stoppage time, Forest added a fifth in spectacular style. Nat Johnson drove through the middle and unleashed a long-range drive into the top corner, leaving Hunter with no chance.
Forest rounded off the scoring deep into stoppage time when substitute Ella Haughey’s low centre was flicked into the roof of the net by Greengrass, who bagged her second of the afternoon.
The defeat leaves the Coasters still searching for their first points of the new year, while the Reds stretched their winning streak to eight games in all competitions.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-6 Nottingham Forest Women
AFC Fylde Women: Hunter, C. Thomas, Hamill, Strutton, James, Rowe, Dale, Binks, Samson, Taylor, Devereaux (75’ Whitaker)
Unused substitute: Craven
Nottingham Forest Women: Batty, Harkin, Johnson, Domingo (88’ Haughey), Manders (77’ Moncaster), Green, F. Thomas (38’ Worsey), Anderson, Greengrass, Keitley (75’ Cook), Cowie
Unused substitute: Mears
Report by Scott Jones