AFC Fylde Women suffered a late blow on Easter Sunday as they were edged 1-0 by West Bromwich Albion Women courtesy of a stoppage-time winner at the Valley Stadium.

Jake Williams’s and Steve Mainwaring’s team were determined to gain a positive result when they travelled to Redditch in the West Midlands to take on the Baggies.

In keeping with recent performances, the Coasters gave a good account of themselves and were unfortunate not to score after hitting the crossbar and creating a host of other chances.

Siobhan Hodgetts-Still’s Albion side also had their fair share of chances but could not find a way past a resilient Fylde backline. That was until deep into second-half stoppage time when Jess Reavill headed home from a corner to score a last-gasp winner for the Baggies.

This closely fought encounter was settled by a single goal that went the way of the hosts with only seconds left on the clock. The late drama left the Coasters wondering how they had not come away with at least a point.

Ahead of kick-off, Fylde were delighted to announce the addition of Hong Kong international Karri Chan to their ranks. Chan made her debut in midfield alongside the returning Natasha Dale, while Liz Craven started between the sticks.

Fylde started on the front foot as they quickly looked to get in behind the Albion defence. Maria Francis-Jones made an early foray forward but saw her shot blocked at close quarters.

Francis-Jones was soon involved again as she raced onto Sasha Rowe’s through ball down the flank, before getting a shot away, but Albion goalkeeper Anna Miller was equal to it.

At the other end, Phoebe Warner’s corner found Lucy Newell in space inside the box, but Newell could not direct her header on target.

In the 24th minute, Fylde’s Lois Moore came agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock when she raced clear and saw her shot rebound off the crossbar.

The Baggies responded four minutes later when Delphi Cole worked a shooting opportunity just inside the box and sent a low drive towards goal, but Craven made a smart save to keep it out.

With half-time approaching, Rowe showed fine footwork to work an angle on goal, but her attempt was blocked by the Albion defence. The two sides could not be separated heading into the break.

Half-Time: West Bromwich Albion Women 0-0 AFC Fylde Women

The Coasters made a bright start to the second half as they pressed their hosts high up the pitch. Moore almost found herself through on goal, but Albion defender Lucy Newell recovered well to nullify the danger.

Rowe created Fylde’s next opportunity in the 56th minute when she controlled a pass with her chest and volleyed towards goal, but her effort flashed inches wide of the post.

Just past the hour mark, Warner showed neat trickery to find a sight of goal and curled an effort narrowly wide of the far post.

As the game entered the final quarter of an hour, Rowe threatened again as she skipped past several defenders and drilled a shot just wide. Minutes later, Albion substitute Taylor Reynolds almost scored from a corner as she drifted into space at the back stick, but her header was off target.

On the cusp of full-time, Albion defender Ash Brown drove into the penalty area and lashed an effort towards the top corner, but Craven made an outstanding save to palm it away to safety.

With time running out, the Baggies grabbed the winner deep into stoppage time as Warner’s lofted corner kick picked out Reavill, whose towering header nestled in the back of the net.

It was a bitter blow for the Coasters, who came within seconds of claiming a valuable point on their travels. The result saw the Baggies climb up to fifth in the table, while Fylde remained ensconced at the bottom of the division with five games left to play.

Full-Time: West Bromwich Albion Women 1-0 AFC Fylde Women

Next up, the Coasters are preparing for a Lancashire derby on Wednesday when they visit the Lancashire FA County Ground in Leyland for their rearranged meeting with Burnley FC Women. This away fixture takes place on Wednesday 3rd April, with kick-off at 7.45 pm.

West Bromwich Albion Women: Miller, Brown, Reavill, Newell, George, Loydon, Orthodoxou, Warner, Jhamat (68’ Reynolds), Rabjohn (80’ Mahmood), Cole

Unused substitutes: Jones, Green, Evans

AFC Fylde Women: Craven, Thomas, Hamill, Strutton, Francis-Jones, Rowe, Binks, Dale, Chan, Wood (60’ Rogers), Moore

Unused substitute: Maguire

Report by Scott Jones