AFC Fylde Women bowed out of the FA Women’s National League Cup on Sunday with a 4-1 reverse to Newcastle United Women at Kellamergh Park.
The Coasters hosted the Magpies in the Quarter Final of the FAWNL Cup for their third meeting of the season. It also marked the first home game for AFC Fylde Women’s First Team Managers Jake Williams and Steve Mainwaring.
Fylde’s new management duo will have been encouraged by their team’s performance and application against Becky Langley’s Newcastle side, who travelled to Kellamergh Park in a confident mood as the league leaders of the FAWNL Northern Premier Division.
Ahead of kick-off, the Coasters were delighted to welcome back goalkeeper Megan Hunter after her successful spell at Stockport County Ladies. Among the starting eleven, Beth Strutton and Cath Hamill marshalled the defence, while Alex Taylor accompanied Demi Devereaux in attack.
Fylde made a promising start but had to be alert to the threat posed by the Newcastle attack right from the outset. Cara Milne-Redhead dragged an early effort wide, before Tyler Dodds met Georgia Gibson’s cross to force a fine save from Hunter in the 19th minute.
After weathering the early storm, the Coasters went ahead in the 22nd minute when skipper Sasha Rowe scored with a rasping drive from outside the box. After Newcastle could only partially clear a corner, the ball fell to Rowe, who unleashed an unstoppable strike into the back of the net, leaving visiting goalkeeper Hannah Reid with no chance.
However, Newcastle responded instantly and drew level four minutes later. As Fylde struggled to clear their lines from a corner, Gibson pounced on a loose ball and prodded home from close range.
Approaching the half-hour mark, Newcastle forward Katie Barker cut inside from the left and drew a smart save from Hunter at her near post. Moments later, Hunter was called into action again to keep out Jasmine McQuade’s attempt to convert Barker’s cross.
On the cusp of half-time, McQuade tried her luck again with a curling effort, but Hunter was equal to it. The scores were level at the break.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-1 Newcastle United Women
The Magpies made a strong start to the second half and edged ahead five minutes after the restart. Newcastle winger Dodds worked space on the right-side of the area and curled an audacious effort into the far corner to make it 2-1.
The visitors almost extended their lead in the 55th minute when Bridget Galloway drilled a powerful shot on target, only to be denied by Hunter once again.
At the other end, the Coasters pressed for an equaliser when Clara Samson brought the ball forward and delivered an inviting cross into the box. As Devereaux prepared to shoot, Newcastle’s Liv Watt made a vital challenge to avert the danger.
In the 63rd minute, Dodds doubled her tally to extend Newcastle’s lead following excellent build-up play by McQuade. After evading a challenge, McQuade played in Dodds, who calmly slotted home to make it 3-1.
With 20 minutes remaining, Newcastle were awarded a penalty kick when Gibson was brought down inside the area. Gibson converted the penalty to register her second of the afternoon.
The Coasters remained firmly in the contest for large spells, but the Magpies ultimately wrestled control in the second period to wrap up a 4-1 win and advance to the next round of the FAWNL Cup.
As the referee blew the full-time whistle, it brought an end to Fylde’s impressive run in this year’s competition.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United have been drawn at home to Portsmouth FC Women in the Semi-Final, which is to be played at the end of February.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-4 Newcastle United Women
AFC Fylde Women: Hunter, Thomas, Hamill, Strutton, Davies, Rowe, Siddall, Binks, Samson, Taylor, Devereaux (64’ James)
Newcastle United Women: Reid (77’ Woods), Watt (74’ Burt), Potts, Bedeau, Dodds, Greenwood, Milne-Redhead (65’ Wilkinson), Barker, McQuade, Gibson (74’ Soulsby), Galloway (65’ Elson)
Report by Scott Jones