AFC Fylde Women exited the FA Women’s National League Cup on Sunday with a narrow 2-1 loss to Derby County Women at Kellamergh Park.
In their second back-to-back meeting with the Ewe Rams, the Coasters were left to rue their missed chances in front of goal and bowed out of the FAWNL Cup in the Determining Round.
Anita Gaspar’s brace gave Derby a two-goal cushion immediately after the half-time break before Caz Fields pulled a goal back for Fylde to set up a grandstand finish.
Despite a spirited fightback in the second period, the Coasters were unable to overturn the deficit and suffered an early exit from the competition.
Ahead of this rearranged cup tie, Danielle Young’s team had earned their first league win of the season against the same opposition the previous weekend. On that occasion, Fylde ran out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Amy Hughes and Jess Holbrook.
Seven days later, however, it was Samantha Griffiths’ Derby who came out on top to advance to the next round of the FAWNL Cup.
The Ewe Rams took the lead on the quarter-hour mark when Gaspar raced onto Jess Camwell’s through ball, evaded the challenges of two defenders, and side-footed a shot into the bottom left corner. It was a clinical finish by Gaspar to put the visitors ahead in the tie.
Despite the early setback, the Coasters grew into the game and were perhaps unlucky to see a penalty appeal waved away for a trip on Hughes inside the area.
Just before the break, Emily Hollinshead thought that she had found the equaliser, only to be denied by the offside flag. In a neat passage of play, Hughes’s first-time cross found Hollinshead in the middle, who converted from close range. However, the home side’s celebrations were cut short after the goal was ruled out for offside.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-1 Derby County FC Women
Only a few minutes after the restart, the visitors managed to double their lead when Gaspar connected with Amy Sims’s knockdown and finished from a tight angle inside the six-yard box.
Shortly afterwards, Fields grabbed a goal back with a left-footed strike past Sarah Morgan to reduce the arrears. Hannah Fryer sprinted down the right and centred for Hughes, who laid the ball back to Fields, who then slotted the ball into the far corner with the aid of a slight deflection.
In the closing stages, Fylde nearly levelled when Hughes latched onto Faye McCoy’s flicked-on header before firing inches wide of the post.
There was still time for Hughes to see a curling effort hit the crossbar before McCoy’s rebound was blocked by the legs of Morgan in the Derby goal.
The Coasters just could not find that elusive equaliser as their FAWNL Cup run came to an abrupt end.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-2 Derby County FC Women
Next up, the Coasters return to league action with the visit of Stoke City FC Women to Kellamergh Park. This home fixture against the Potters is scheduled for Sunday 2nd October, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.
AFC Fylde Women: Carroll, Fryer, Taylor, Pearson (91’ Binks), Merrin, Forster, Holbrook (58’ Rowe), Fields, Hughes, McCoy, Hollinshead (65’ Smith)Unused substitutes: Bickett, Cook
Report by Scott Jones