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Match Report: Liverpool Feds WFC vs AFC Fylde Women

Photo: Heather Watson - AFC Fylde Women

AFC Fylde Women returned from Merseyside empty-handed on Sunday after a narrow 2-1 defeat to Liverpool Feds WFC at Jericho Lane.

In a tale of two halves, the Coasters struggled to gain a foothold in the first half as the Feds opened up a two-goal lead courtesy of strikes from Chantelle Thompson and Aleesha Collins.

The second half brought an improved display from the Coasters, who halved the deficit just past the hour mark when Sasha Rowe scored from the penalty spot. Fylde rallied in search of an equaliser late on, but the Feds held out to claim all three points at Jericho Lane.

With only nine games left of the season, Fylde’s Joint Managers Jake Williams and Steve Mainwaring remained determined to pick up as many points as possible in a bid to climb out of the relegation zone. After a tough start to their tenure, Williams and Mainwaring had been encouraged by their team’s attitude and application over recent weeks.

For their away meeting with Leanne Duffy’s Feds, Cath Hamill and Nicola James lead the backline, while midfielder Natasha Dale made only her second appearance for the club. Demi Devereaux and Alex Taylor started up front, and Rachel Wood and Lois Moore were named on the bench.

The Feds fashioned the game’s first chance after five minutes when Collins sprinted clear and dragged her shot wide. Minutes later, Fylde came close to an opener when Taylor found space at the back post and fired just wide of the upright.

In the 10th minute, the Feds went ahead as Thompson bent a shot with the outside of her boot into the bottom corner. After Megan Hunter had parried the initial cross, Ellie Fletcher collected the rebound and teed up Thompson, who produced a sublime finish to give the hosts the lead.

Defending a subsequent corner kick, Fylde suffered a setback as Hunter collided with an attacker and had to be withdrawn through injury. Replacement goalkeeper Liz Craven was unavailable due to illness, which meant that defender Iszy Binks donned the gloves and deputised in goal.

Approaching the half-hour mark, Collins played Paige Cole through on goal, but Binks rushed out to make a vital save. With the Feds’ next foray down the right, Fletcher centred for Thompson, who shot high over the bar.

Fylde almost levelled from a corner just before the interval as Beth Strutton saw her goalbound header cleared off the line. But deep into first-half stoppage time, it was the Feds who doubled their lead after Collins broke clear and finished past Binks.

Half-Time: Liverpool Feds WFC 2-0 AFC Fylde Women

Fylde worked hard to get back into the contest, but chances were limited for both sides in a cagey opening to the second half.

On the hour-mark, Cole crossed for Holly Deering, whose header drifted wide of the post. At the other end, Fylde saw their next attack cut short by Chelsey Jukes’ vital interception.

The Coasters were awarded a penalty in the 65th minute after a Feds defender committed a clumsy foul inside the area. Rowe stepped up and coolly slotted the penalty into the bottom corner to make it 2-1.

With time running out, the Coasters pressed forward in search of an equaliser but struggled to find a way past the Feds’ compact defence. After Jukes was booked for a foul on the edge of the box, Fylde failed to capitalise on the resulting free-kick. In the end, the Feds held firm to claim the victory.

Full-Time: Liverpool Feds WFC 2-1 AFC Fylde Women

Liverpool Feds WFC: Norney, Pope (60’ Guy), Kinvig-Wardale, Jukes, Johnson, Fletcher (70’ Richardson), Seagraves, Thompson, Deering (65’ Anderson), Cole, Collins (71’ Donoghue)

Unused substitute: Walsh

AFC Fylde Women: Hunter (21’ Moore), Thomas, Hamill, James, Strutton, Rowe, Binks, Dale, Taylor, Devereaux (70’ Wood), Samson

Report by Scott Jones

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