On Sunday, AFC Fylde Women bowed out of the Vitality Women’s FA Cup with defeat to WSL opposition Aston Villa Women at the Poundland Bescot Stadium in Walsall.
Carla Ward’s Villa side demonstrated their attacking prowess and clinical finishing with an 11-0 win thanks to goals from eight different scorers, including a four-goal haul by Rachel Daly.
In this Fourth Round Proper tie, Danielle Young’s Fylde played with great pride and gave everything throughout the 90 minutes.
Ultimately, the Coasters were soundly beaten by their top-flight opponents, who showed why they are one of the best teams in the country.
Young made several changes to the starting line-up. Megan Hunter started in goal, Jenna Carroll and Hannah Fryer slotted back into the defence, and Hannah Forster returned to skipper the side.
The Villains made a blistering start and found themselves in front within two minutes. Alisha Lehmann drove inside from the right before playing in Daly, who slotted into the bottom right corner.
The hosts doubled their lead a few minutes later when Laura Blindkilde Brown completed a sweeping move through the middle with a finish from the edge of the box. After Hunter rushed out to deny Daly a one-on-one opportunity, Blindkilde Brown controlled the rebound and lifted the ball over Hunter for Villa’s second of the game.
A third goal was added when Emily Gielnick broke clear down the right and squared to Daly, who tapped in at the near post.
Following wave after wave of attack, the Villains were then awarded a penalty that Daly stepped up to take. Hunter made a heroic penalty save down to her right to keep out Daly’s effort.
However, a fourth goal soon arrived in the 20th minute when Kenza Dali curled a direct free-kick around the Fylde wall and into the bottom right corner.
In the 22nd minute, Gielnick raced on to a long ball forward and hit a first-time lob over the advancing Hunter and into the back of the net for Villa’s fifth.
Minutes later, Villa defender Anna Patten scored her first goal for the club, albeit with a slice of good luck. After being teed up by Lehmann, Patten’s shot took a wicked deflection off Carroll and rolled into the Fylde goal.
The Villains continued to dominate possession, but the Coasters steadily gained a foothold in the contest and pressed further forward.
Half-Time: Aston Villa Women 6-0 AFC Fylde Women
Following the restart, the Villains did not let up and carried the same intensity into the second half.
In the 51st minute, Daly completed her hat-trick when she played a neat one-two with Rachel Corsie before firing the return ball into the bottom right corner.
Refusing to give up, the Coasters worked hard in and out of possession and had to withstand a great deal of pressure from the home side. Fylde substitutes Iszy Binks, Rebecca Beresford and Charlie Hignett also made a positive impact from the bench.
In the 70th minute, Daly grabbed her fourth of the game when she broke clear down the left, rounded the goalkeeper, and converted into an empty net, despite Young’s best attempts to block the shot on the line.
Villa added a ninth when Kirsty Hanson’s powerful drive was saved by Hunter’s feet, only for the rebound to fall to Lehmann, who fired in the rebound from close range.
A tenth goal was scored by Villa substitute Maz Pacheco, whose cross from the left somehow found the far corner of the net.
In the closing minutes, the Villains were awarded their second penalty of the game. Sarah Mayling duly converted from 12 yards with a confident side-footed finish.
While Villa booked their place in the next round of the competition, the Coasters can reflect on a proud performance that will act as a learning curve for the team.
Full-Time: Aston Villa Women 11-0 AFC Fylde Women
Aston Villa Women: Hampton, Turner, McLoughlin, Patten, Corsie (60’ Pacheco), Blindkilde Brown, Staniforth (72’ Shaw), Dali (46’ Mayling), Daly (72’ Mullett), Gielnik (60’ Hanson), Lehmann
AFC Fylde Women: Hunter, Taylor (61’ Binks), Young (71’ Hignett), Carroll, Fryer, Forster, Merrin, Rowe, McCoy, Fields, Hollinshead (61’ Beresford)
Report by Scott Jones