AFC Fylde Women suffered a heavy defeat on the road on Sunday with a 5-0 reverse to Wolves Women at New Bucks Head in Telford.

Dan McNamara’s Wolves side took a commanding lead in the first half following goals from Tammi George, Beth Merrick, and Destiney Toussaint, who took the match ball home after bagging a sensational hat-trick.

The free-scoring hosts inflicted the damage in the opening 45 minutes, but the Coasters responded positively with an improved performance in the second half and battled right until the final whistle.

Jack Garside’s Fylde team created some excellent chances and were unlucky not to get on the scoresheet themselves. The Wolves goal led a charmed life at times, and, on another day, Fylde could have scored several goals to make it a closer contest.

Ultimately, Wolves showed their attacking prowess and ran out convincing winners to move up to second in the table, while Fylde remained bottom after a difficult start to the campaign.

Garside welcomed back skipper Sasha Rowe to the starting eleven, while goalkeeper Grace Pilling kept her place in goal. Among the changes for the hosts, McNamara gave a start to defender Hannah Fryer, who previously enjoyed a successful spell with the Coasters.

Prior to kick-off, both teams observed a minute’s silence in memory of Maddy Cusack, who tragically passed away earlier in the week. Both sets of players also wore black armbands during the game.

Wolves made a blistering start by taking the lead in the ninth minute. Toussaint’s cross from the right found the head of Tammi George, whose cushioned header looped over Pilling’s outstretched dive and into the back of the net.

A couple of minutes later, Wolves doubled their lead when Beth Roberts whipped in a low cross from the left, and Toussaint applied a deft finish into the bottom right corner from six yards out.

Fylde came close to halving the deficit moments later when Rowe took aim from the edge of the area and saw her strike rebound off the upright before the ball was cleared away.

The Coasters were again denied by the woodwork in the 22nd minute when Iszy Binks hit a long-range effort that seemed certain to burst the back of the net, only for Wolves goalkeeper Rebecca Thomas to tip it onto the crossbar.

Wolves made it 3-0 in the 25th minute when Toussaint grabbed her second of the afternoon. An inswinging cross from the left bounced invitingly into the path of Toussaint, who saw her initial attempt blocked by Pilling at close range before bundling the rebound over the line.

On the half-hour mark, Fylde hit the woodwork for a third time in quick succession. Lily Murphy cut inside and fired on target, but Thomas reacted well to push it onto the post and behind for a corner.

Fylde’s misery was compounded when Wolves extended their lead in the 37th minute. After the Fylde defence struggled to control a long ball over the top, Toussaint stole possession from Cath Hamill just inside the area and curled a stunning strike into the far corner to complete her hat-trick.

Wolves underlined their attacking dominance by adding a fifth in the 40th minute. Receiving a pass on the edge of the area, Beth Merrick buried an effort into the bottom left corner to make it 5-0.

Half-Time: Wolves Women 5-0 AFC Fylde Women

The Coasters showed great character and resolve in the second half as they looked to reduce the arrears. As they began to enjoy more possession in the middle of the park, Fylde created further chances in front of goal.

In the 65th minute, Murphy drove forward, turned inside and fired across goal, but her shot whistled just wide of the post.

Entering the final quarter of an hour, Clara Samson tried her luck with a low drive that flew inches wide of the post. Minutes later, Ginny Lackey directed a header on target, but it was safely gathered by Thomas.

For all their best efforts, the Coasters were unable to register a goal in the second period. As the referee blew the full-time whistle, it brought an end to a difficult afternoon for Garside’s team.

Full-Time: Wolves Women 5-0 AFC Fylde Women

The Coasters now turn their attention to the FAWNL Cup with an away game against Notts County Women. This cup tie will be played at the RM Stadium in Hucknall on Sunday 1st October, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.

Wolves Women: Thomas, Morphet, George, Will (60’ Bramford), Dermody (85’ Bailey), Johnson (77’ Smith), Fryer (77’ E. Cross), Fergusson, Toussaint (60’ J. Cross), Roberts, Merrick

AFC Fylde Women: Pilling, Binks (75’ Devereaux), Hamill, Strutton (46’ Dunn), Bickett (46’ Thomas), Siddall, Rowe, Heria, Murphy, Lackey, Samson

Unused substitutes: Craven, Beresford

Report by Scott Jones