AFC Fylde Women endured a miserable afternoon on Sunday with a heavy defeat at the hands of Nottingham Forest Women FC in their first home game of 2023.
Andy Cook’s Nottingham Forest flexed their attacking muscle and raced into a commanding lead in the first half to leave Fylde with a mountain to climb.
On a frustrating afternoon for the Coasters, the Reds extended their lead further in the second half and ran out comfortable victors at Kellamergh Park.
Ahead of kick-off, the Coasters were delighted to announce the signing of Rebecca Beresford on a loan deal from Everton Women until the end of the season. Fylde also welcomed the return of Cara Bickett after a loan spell at Merseyrail Ladies. New recruit Abby Fenton was also named among the substitutes.
In a frenetic opening to the game, Forest took the lead courtesy of an own goal with only a few minutes on the clock. The goal came via a wicked deflection off a Fylde defender to put the visitors ahead.
Fylde responded with a swift attacking move that nearly resulted in an equaliser. Iszy Binks centred for Caz Fields, who directed a shot on target that drew a fine save from visiting goalkeeper Emily Batty.
In the 14th minute, Forest doubled their advantage when Charlotte Greengrass rifled a shot against the post and the rebound fell invitingly for Yasmin Mosby to tap home from close range.
Two minutes later, Forest made it three when Sophie Domingo finished into the bottom corner. The visitors then registered a fourth just before the half-hour mark. Lyndsey Harkin picked out Amy West with a pinpoint cross, and West guided her header into the back of the Fylde net.
It was to get worse for the hosts as Forest scored a fifth in the 32nd minute. After Fylde goalkeeper Grace Pomfret had saved the initial attempt, the rebound dropped to Becky Anderson, who slotted home at the back post.
Anderson clearly had her shooting boots on because she quickly added her second of the game, giving the Reds a sizeable lead just before the interval.
Fylde continued to attack and managed to pull a goal back in the 44th minute. Emily Hollinshead controlled the ball on the right and took aim from distance, beating Batty from an acute angle.
Forest still found time to add a seventh before the break. West tried her luck from 30 yards out and saw her strike nestle in the back of the net, despite Pomfret’s best efforts to palm the shot away.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-7 Nottingham Forest Women FC
The Coasters introduced debutant Beresford into the fold at the start of the second half.
In the 53rd minute, Faye McCoy fired in a dangerous free-kick that Batty did well to gather under pressure.
Moments later, the visitors extended their lead when Mosby produced a composed finish for her second of the afternoon. On the hour mark, Mosby completed her hat-trick by curling in a free-kick from the edge of the area.
In their next wave of attack, the visitors were awarded a penalty. Charlotte Steggles stepped up and dispatched the penalty in the 64th minute.
Fenton then made her bow for the Coasters when she replaced Binks on the right.
After excellent build-up play by Beresford, Amy Hughes forced Batty into a smart save in the 71st minute.
Forest substitute Gianna Mitchell got on the score sheet when she raced forward at pace and slotted home in the 89th minute.
The Reds were awarded another penalty on the stroke of full-time. Steggles again made no mistake from the spot to round off the scoring. It was another cruel blow for the Coasters, who were unable to stem the tide against a ruthless opponent.
The result leaves the Coasters rooted in sixth place in the table after 12 games played.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 1-12 Nottingham Forest Women FC
Next up, the Coasters look to continue their journey in this year’s FAWNL Plate when they host Leeds United Women at Kellamergh Park. This Quarter Final tie will be played on Sunday 22nd January, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.
AFC Fylde Women: Pomfret, Binks (69′ Fenton), Young, Taylor, Merrin, Bickett, Rowe (46′ Beresford), McCoy, Hughes (75′ Hignett), Fields, Hollinshead
Unused substitute: Hunter
Report by Scott Jones