AFC Fylde Women returned to winning ways on Sunday with a convincing 2-0 win against Huddersfield Town Women FC at Kellamergh Park.
Danielle Young’s team produced a dominant attacking display to claim the victory with goals either side of half-time from Caz Fields and Amy Hughes.
The Coasters thus secured their first home win of the FAWNL Northern Premier Division season and extended their unbeaten league run to four matches.
It was the perfect response to the setback suffered in their previous game when Fylde conceded a last-gasp equaliser in a 2-2 draw at home to Stoke City FC Women. On this occasion, the Coasters not only managed to score twice, but also kept a clean sheet against the usually free-scoring Terriers.
Heading into the fixture, Glen Preston’s Town side had scored as many as 16 goals in only six league games. In their last outing, the Terriers ran out 2-0 winners against Liverpool Feds at the Stafflex Arena.
Among the changes to Fylde’s starting line-up, Young handed a debut to young goalkeeper Grace Pomfret. Jenna Carroll, who had played as a stand-in goalkeeper in recent games, returned to her usual position in central defence.In the opening minute, the Terriers were the first to threaten when Ria Montgomery found space down the right and centred for Laura Elford, who shot on target but her effort was saved down low by Pomfret.
Moments later, the Coasters appealed for a penalty when Amy Hughes seemed to be fouled just inside the penalty box. However, the referee waved away the appeal and play continued. The ball then fell to Hannah Forster but her long-range attempt cleared the crossbar.
Shortly after, Laura Merrin swung in a dangerous free-kick from the right and found Faye McCoy in the box, but McCoy’s header was too weak to trouble Town goalkeeper Lauren Joyce.
As the hosts continued to push for the opener, Hughes came agonisingly close on the half-hour mark when her angled shot from the left hit the top of the crossbar before the rebound was eventually scrambled away.
At the other end, the visitors then created a one-on-one chance as Montgomery was played in through the middle. Pomfret raced out to narrow the angle and managed to block Montgomery’s effort from close range.
As the Terriers attacked again, Katie Anderson played in Elford, who fired a first-time shot towards goal but her effort flew harmlessly over the crossbar.
Deep into first-half stoppage time, the Coasters took a deserved lead thanks to a composed finish by Caz Fields. Hannah Fryer curled an inviting cross into the box and Fields coolly slotted the ball past Joyce and into the bottom corner. The hosts went into the interval with a one-goal advantage.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-0 Huddersfield Town Women FC
The second period resumed with the same high tempo, and Fields was again in the thick of the action when she tested Joyce from close range. After Carroll chipped a long pass forward, Faye McCoy neatly headed down to Fields, who drove into the box and got a shot away but Joyce was equal to it.
As the second half progressed, the Terriers were applying more and more attacking pressure but the well-organised Fylde defence was able to keep them at bay.
In the 66th minute, Hughes doubled the Coasters’ lead when she capitalised on an assist by Sasha Rowe and drilled the ball into the bottom left corner. After receiving the ball on the right, Rowe darted into the box before squaring to Hughes, who then turned and fired past Joyce in the Huddersfield goal.
With 10 minutes remaining, Forster sprayed a delightful pass over to Hughes, who was quickly challenged by Autumn Housley, before Merrin picked up the loose ball and saw her long-range effort saved by Joyce.
In the closing minutes, the Terriers almost grabbed a goal back but were denied, first back the woodwork, then by the acrobatics of Fylde shotstopper Pomfret.
Katie Mallin’s late corner kick found Lauren Griffiths in space in the box but Griffiths’ header bounced back off the post before Montgomery lashed the rebound towards goal, only to be denied by Pomfret’s spectacular diving save.
The Coasters held on to preserve a clean sheet and clinch all three points.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 2-0 Huddersfield Town Women FC
It is a quick turnaround for the Coasters who next travel to face Liverpool Feds WFC on Thursday 13th October. This away fixture against the Feds will be played at Jericho Lane Hub, with kick-off scheduled for 7.45 pm.
AFC Fylde Women: Pomfret, Fryer, Carroll, Taylor, Merrin, Forster, Rowe, Fields, Hollinshead (74′ Pearson), McCoy, Hughes
Unused substitutes: Bickett, Binks, Cook, Smith
Report by Scott Jones