On Sunday, AFC Fylde Women made the perfect start to 2023 with an impressive 2-0 win over Wolves Women FC at the New Bucks Head in Telford.

Danielle Young’s team marked their long-awaited return to league action by defeating Dan McNamara’s strong Wolves side in clinical fashion with goals on either side of the break from Hannah Forster and Faye McCoy.

In doing so, Fylde secured their third win of the season and moved into sixth place in the FAWNL Northern Premier Division after 11 games played.

Following a fairly inconsistent start to the campaign, the Coasters got their season back on track with an outstanding performance away to the division’s pacesetters.

Both teams were somewhat hampered in their preparations since the fixture was rearranged by the league at short notice. It meant that the two sides were quickly back in action after the Christmas break ahead of a busy month of fixtures.

In the build-up to the game, the Coasters were delighted to announce the signing of Abby Fenton as the first player to be recruited from the Fylde Women Development Squad. Fenton was named among the substitutes for the trip to the West Midlands.

From the outset, Fylde took the game to their hosts in a physical battle at the New Bucks Head. Probing for an opening goal, the visitors showed their attacking intent with a number of forays into the box by Amy Hughes. In the 26th minute, Hughes darted into the area before firing her effort narrowly over the crossbar.

The Coasters went ahead from a well-worked set piece just past the half-hour mark. Sasha Rowe’s corner worked its way to Danielle Young, who picked out Hannah Forster in the box, and the Fylde captain coolly finished from close range to open the scoring.

Thanks to some resilient defending thereafter, the visitors managed to go into the break with a one-goal advantage.

Half-Time: Wolves Women FC 0-1 AFC Fylde Women

Emily Hollinshead created the first chance of the second half when she directed a powerful effort on target but Wolves goalkeeper Bec Thomas was equal to it.

Fylde then had to withstand a spell of intense pressure as Wolves searched for an equaliser. The home side came agonisingly close when Anna Morphet played a delightful pass into the path of Destiney Toussaint, who saw her strike cannon off the crossbar.

The Coasters were then indebted to their goalkeeper Grace Pomfret, who made a string of excellent saves to keep Wolves at bay. Under sustained pressure from the Wolves attack, Pomfret did well to command her box and clear the danger from a succession of corner kicks.

In the 66th minute, Fylde were then awarded a penalty when a Wolves defender handled the ball inside the area. Talismanic striker Faye McCoy duly converted the spot-kick past Bec Thomas to make it 2-0 to the Coasters.

There was still time for Wolves to halve the deficit when they were awarded a penalty with ten minutes remaining, but Anna Morphet blazed her penalty over the crossbar. Fylde managed to see out the remainder of the game and come away from the West Midlands with all three points.

Full-Time: Wolves Women FC 0-2 AFC Fylde Women

Next up, the Coasters face another tough test when they welcome Nottingham Forest Women to Kellamergh Park on Sunday 15th January. This league fixture is scheduled for a 2.00 pm kick-off. Fans are invited to come along and show their support this Sunday.

AFC Fylde Women: Pomfret, Binks, Young, Fryer, Merrin, Forster, Rowe, McCoy, Hughes, Fields, Hollinshead

Unused substitutes: Hunter, Hignett, Fenton, Smith

Report by Scott Jones