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Match Preview: Newcastle United Women v AFC Fylde Women

AFC Fylde Women face their final test of 2023 on Sunday when they travel to Tyneside to take on Newcastle United Women at Kingston Park.

Photo: John Shirras

This FAWNL Northern Premier Division fixture has been brought forward to Sunday 17th December, with kick-off at 2.00 pm.

After a disappointing run of results in the league, AFC Fylde Women’s First Team Manager Jack Garside left the Club by mutual consent at the end of November. While the Club searches for a new First Team Manager, Assistant Manager Connor Wild has taken charge of the side on an interim basis.

It has been some three weeks since the Coasters were last in action. In the final weekend of November, Fylde entertained Halifax FC Women at Kellamergh Park. After making a sensational start with goals from Clara Samson and Ginny Lackey, Fylde came within seconds of recording their first league win of the season.

In the end, they had to settle for a share of the spoils after the Eagles grabbed an equaliser deep in stoppage time to make it 2-2. Although the Coasters were disappointed not to claim all three points, they still earned a valuable point that lifted them off the foot of the table.

As for this Sunday’s opponents, Newcastle United Women have adapted exceptionally well to life in the Northern Premier Division. After securing promotion last season, the Magpies are competing in the third tier of the women’s football pyramid for the first time in their history. Becky Langley’s team currently sit top of the table with eight wins and one draw after nine games played.

When the two sides last met in early September, Newcastle ran out 4-0 winners on their first visit to Kellamergh Park. Overall, Fylde competed well for large spells of the contest, but the Magpies showed their clinical edge in front of goal to come away with the victory.

On that occasion, Bridget Galloway put the visitors ahead inside the opening quarter of an hour. Fylde looked for an instant response and came close to equalising on numerous occasions.

In the second half, Galloway doubled Newcastle’s lead, before Amber-Keegan Stobbs volleyed in a third, and Georgia Gibson fired home a fourth to put the game out of sight.

Since that day in September, both sides have successfully advanced to the Quarter Final of the FAWNL Cup, in which they have been drawn against each other. As a result, the Coasters will host the Magpies at the end of January 2024 for their third meeting of the season.

But before then, the Coasters will be looking to close out the year on a positive note as they prepare for the challenge of an away trip to the league leaders this Sunday.

Words by Scott Jones

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