On Sunday, AFC Fylde Women triumphed on penalties to win a thrilling cup tie against Boldmere St Michaels Women in the Second Round of the FAWNL Plate.
With the scores level at 3-3 after extra-time, the Coasters eventually overcame the Mikes Women with a 4-3 win in the penalty shootout to progress to the Quarter Final of the FAWNL Plate.
When these two sides last met in early November, Danielle Young’s Fylde endured a tough afternoon in the West Midlands with a 3-0 league defeat to Simon Noakes’ newly promoted Boldmere side.
In the previous round of the FAWNL Plate, Fylde came from behind to earn a 2-1 victory over Doncaster Rovers Belles, while Boldmere comfortably beat Sporting Khalsa to set up this Second-Round draw at Kellamergh Park.
The Coasters raced out of the blocks and registered an early shot on target that was gathered well by Boldmere goalkeeper Chloe Quinn.
Both sides looked to play out from the goalkeeper and build possession from the back. Fylde employed a high press to put the visitors under pressure from the outset.
In the 19th minute, the Mikes Women rattled the woodwork with their first clear-cut chance. Striker Jade Formaston hit a dipping shot that cannoned off the crossbar before the rebound was flagged for offside.
Minutes later, Laura Merrin charged down the left wing and centred for Amy Hughes, whose shot forced Quinn into a smart save.
The Coasters went ahead in the 25th minute when Hughes made no mistake with a sublime finish past Quinn for the opener.
However, Fylde’s lead did not last long as the visitors responded with an equaliser two minutes later. After neat play on the right, midfielder Trina Greaves scored with a long-range strike that looped over Fylde goalkeeper Megan Hunter and into the back of the net.
In the 36th minute, the Coasters threatened again when Emily Hollinshead took aim from the edge of the area and arrowed a shot narrowly wide of the post.
The visitors then fashioned a one-on-one opportunity when Katie George beat the offside trap and prodded the ball past the advancing Hunter, only to see her shot bounce back off the post. The ball somehow stayed out of the net, much to the relief of the hosts.
And with that, the teams went into the break on even terms.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-1 Boldmere St Michaels Women FC
The hosts started the second period with the same high tempo. Showing clear attacking intent, Hughes fired a shot just wide within a minute of the restart.
On the hour mark, the Coasters thought that they had retaken the lead when Hughes raced in behind and found the back of the net, but her effort was ruled out for offside.
Shortly after, the Mikes Women made it 2-1 when Greaves floated an inviting cross into the box that George expertly headed into the back of the net. George’s goal put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game.
Boldmere came close to extending their lead when Formaston found sight of the goal but saw her goalbound effort cleared off the line. It proved to be a vital defensive block to keep the Coasters in the contest.
Fylde continued to search for an equaliser, and it duly arrived in the 87th minute. Sasha Rowe unleashed a thunderous drive that bounced down off the crossbar and into the path of Faye McCoy, who slotted home the rebound to make it 2-2.
After an engrossing 90 minutes, the two sides could not be separated and headed into extra-time.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 2-2 Boldmere St Michaels Women FC
In the first half of extra-time, the Coasters regained the lead when McCoy notched her second of the afternoon with a clinical finish from close range.
After the restart, the Coasters had to ride their luck when Boldmere almost levelled directly from a corner kick that bounced back off the post before the loose ball could be scrambled away.
With time running out, Greaves chipped in a cross that Hunter did well to collect under pressure. From another lofted cross into the area, Boldmere managed to snatch a late equaliser. After the ball ricocheted off the crossbar, Formaston turned in the rebound to send the game into penalties.
After trailing 2-0, Fylde turned it around to win 4-3 in the penalty shootout, which included Hunter making a crucial save and Merrin scoring the decisive spot-kick. The result sees the Coasters book their place in the final eight of the competition.
Full-Time After Extra-Time: AFC Fylde Women 3-3 Boldmere St Michaels Women FC (4-3 on penalties)
Next up, the Coasters travel to face Solihull Moors Women in the Third Round Proper of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. This Cup tie will be played on Sunday 11th December, with kick-off at 1.00 pm.
AFC Fylde Women: Hunter, Fryer, Carroll, Binks (112′ Smith), Merrin, Forster, Rowe, Fields, Hollinshead, McCoy, Hughes (74′ Hignett)
Unused substitute: Whitaker
Report by Scott Jones