AFC Fylde Women had to settle for a share of the spoils in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Stoke City FC Women at Kellamergh Park.
The Coasters came from behind to earn a valuable point that extends their undefeated run in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division to three games.
However, Fylde would have sealed all three points but for a last-gasp equaliser by the Potters in stoppage time. Despite the late heartbreak, Danielle Young’s side can take many positives from another strong team performance.
Last time out, the Coasters suffered a disappointing exit from the FA Women’s National League Cup with a 2-1 defeat to Derby County Women at Kellamergh Park. Young’s team were now looking to improve on their league form after a tough start to the season.
After a cagey opening to the game, Stoke City broke the deadlock in the 20th minute when Beth Roberts received the ball on the left, darted into the box, and unleashed a powerful drive past Fylde goalkeeper Jenna Carroll.
Undeterred by the setback, the Coasters rallied and scored an equaliser only six minutes later. After some excellent build-up play, Amy Hughes made no mistake with an unstoppable finish past the outstretched dive of Liz Hobson.
The game was then turned on its head when Fylde went ahead in the 34th minute thanks to a wonder goal by defender Alex Taylor. Receiving a pass outside the area, Taylor took aim and found the top-left corner with a sensational strike that gave the visiting goalkeeper no chance.
The Coasters finished the first half strongly and headed into the break with a narrow lead.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 2-1 Stoke City FC Women
Minutes after the restart, the hosts almost netted a third when Faye McCoy dribbled past Hobson and centred for Laura Merrin but the cross just evaded her at the back post.
At the other end, Carra Jones then tried her luck from distance but her speculative shot was gathered by Carroll.
In the 73rd minute, McCoy thought that she had scored for the Coasters when her shot nestled in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled offside.
The Potters posed an increasing threat in the closing stages of the game. Beth Roberts nearly turned provider when her cross picked out Ali Hall in the box but Hall’s header went wide of the target.
Applying late pressure from a corner kick, the visitors came close to levelling when Meg Bowyer’s towering header was denied by Carroll’s acrobatic save.
With the game entering stoppage time, the Coasters were unable to clear their defensive lines, and Naomi Bedeau capitalised on a goalmouth scramble to tap home and rescue a point for the Potters.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 2-2 Stoke City FC Women
Next up, the Coasters are back on home turf next Sunday with the visit of Huddersfield Town Women FC to Kellamergh Park. The fixture against the Terriers is scheduled for Sunday 9th October, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.
AFC Fylde Women: Carroll, Fryer (61’ Redgrave), Cook, Taylor, Pearson (82’ Smith), Merrin, Forster, Rowe, Hollinshead, Hughes, McCoy
Unused substitutes: Bickett, Binks, Pomfret
Report by Scott Jones