Sunday 12th November 2023
AFC Fylde Women bowed out of the Women’s FA Cup on Sunday with a narrow 1-0 loss to Durham Cestria in the First Round Proper.
Photo: Heather Watson - AFC Fylde Women Media.
An early goal by Faye Dale proved to be the difference between the two sides as the Coasters were unable to find a route back into the contest, despite creating numerous chances in the final third.
As a third-tier outfit, the Coasters entered the Women’s FA Cup at the First Round Proper and were drawn at home to fourth-tier Durham Cestria, who were making their second visit to Kellamergh Park in the space of a fortnight.
At the end of October, Fylde had previously hosted Durham Cestria in the Second Round of the FA Women’s National League Cup. On that occasion, the Coasters ran out 4-2 winners to book their place in the Quarter Final.
To reach this stage of the Women’s FA Cup, Durham Cestria first had to overcome Bolton Wanderers Women in the final qualifying round. Michael Third’s side secured a comfortable win at Maiden Castle to set up an away tie with the Coasters.
Jack Garside made several changes to the starting eleven, bringing in Alex Taylor in defence and Lois Moore in attack, while Beth Strutton dropped to the bench.
It was a lively start to the game as both teams looked to gain a foothold in the contest. The visitors fashioned an early chance when Leanna Giles connected with a corner but hit her effort straight at Liz Craven in the Fylde goal. Minutes later, Craven was again called into action, this time to deny Jordan Atkinson from close range.
In the ninth minute, Durham Cestria went ahead when Faye Dale rounded off a swift attacking move with a first-time finish inside the box. Jennifer Knowles started the move by sweeping the ball out wide to Rebecca Bell, who controlled the ball before squaring to Dale in the middle. Dale made no mistake with a clinical strike past Craven to give the visitors the early advantage.
The Coasters responded positively and almost carved out an opening when Sasha Rowe’s lofted pass almost released Moore through on goal, but the ball was just beyond her reach.
As the game settled down, Fylde struggled to find a way through Durham’s compact defensive unit. And with that, Durham Cestria headed into the break with their one-goal lead intact.
Half-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-1 Durham Cestria
The Coasters returned for the second half with a renewed determination. As early as the 47th minute, they almost found the equaliser when Lily Murphy burst down the wing, turned inside and fired towards the far corner. However, visiting goalkeeper Anna King reacted well to tip the shot around the post.
On the hour mark, the visitors seemed certain to score a second when Dale worked space out wide and crossed to Atkinson for a clear sight of goal, but Craven made an outstanding save to prevent Atkinson’s shot from nestling in the back of the net.
As the game entered its closing stages, the Coasters were unable to make their attacking dominance count as the visitors stood firm in defence. Fylde’s hopes of a leveller were dashed minutes from time after a late goal was ruled out for offside.
Durham Cestria held on to claim the victory and advance to the Women’s FA Cup Second Round, in which they will face Liverpool Feds at Jericho Lane. As for the Coasters, they now turn their attention to the league, with Halifax Women their next opponents at the end of November.
Full-Time: AFC Fylde Women 0-1 Durham Cestria
AFC Fylde Women: Craven, Hamill, Taylor (65’ Thomas), James (62’ Strutton), Rowe, Heria, Binks, Beresford (46’ Devereaux), Samson, Moore, Murphy
Unused substitute: Pilling
Durham Cestria: King, Knowles, Elliott, Dale, Richardson (77’ Noble), Atkinson (90+2’ Mainwaring), Giles, Clarke, Donald, Mackie, Bell
Unused substitutes: Jordinson, Rowell
Report by Scott Jones