AFC Fylde Women travel to the West Midlands on Easter Sunday to take on West Bromwich Albion Women at the Valley Stadium in Redditch.

This away fixture takes place on Sunday 31st March, with kick-off at the later time of 3.00 pm.

It has undeniably been a tough run of results for Jake Williams’s and Steve Mainwaring’s team, who have suffered three successive defeats by a single-goal margin. In their last three outings, the Coasters have competed well with strong performances all over the park, but they have ended up on the wrong side of a 2-1 scoreline on each occasion.

Last time out, Fylde slipped to a 2-1 loss to Derby County Women at the Don Amott Arena in Mickleover. After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the Ewe Rams established a two-goal lead early in the second half after Amy Sims and Hannah Ward produced two clinical finishes in the space of ten minutes.

Nevertheless, Fylde remained firmly in the contest, and Sasha Rowe pulled a goal back from the penalty spot in the closing stages. Unfortunately, the Coasters ran out of time to find the equaliser but could take a number of positives from their overall performance on the road.

As their next opponents, Siobhan Hodgetts-Still’s West Bromwich Albion present another difficult test with four league wins to their name since the start of February. The Baggies sit seventh in the table, having collected 23 points from 19 games, and are currently level on points with three teams above them, albeit they have played several more games.

When the two sides last met in early October, the Coasters earned their first point of the season after a thrilling 2-2 draw at Kellamergh Park. On that occasion, Lily Murphy put Fylde ahead with a sublime finish into the far corner. The visitors levelled shortly after the restart when Olivia Rabjohn bent an exquisite shot into the top corner.

Albion then edged ahead when Jannelle Straker’s long-range strike nestled in the back of the net. However, there was still time for the Coasters to restore parity as Ginny Lackey scored a spectacular goal with an audacious lob from the halfway line.

If their previous encounter is anything to go by, this Sunday’s clash at the Valley Stadium is sure to be another classic between the Coasters and the Baggies.

Words by Scott Jones