Fylde coast girls' football: Blackpool and YMCA
Blackpool FC Girls Under-16s claimed a prized scalp when they beat Preston North End 2-1 on the University of Central Lancashire complex at Ingol.
Both teams went into the match with a 100 per cent record, Preston starting on the front foot and dominating the early territory.
Clear opportunities were few until the 14th minute, when an excellent long ball found the home striker, who fired home from a tight angle to give North End a deserved lead.
Despite the goal, the pattern of the game didn’t change as the home side’s intensity levels dropped slightly the visitors gained more possession in the final third as the forwards worked hard to pressurise defenders.
With 25 minutes gone, a threatening move was ended when Leah Fielding was upended in the penalty area.
Conversion of the resulting penalty kick by Ellie Spooner brought the scores level.
An even passage of play followed as Preston had opportunities, while on the stroke of half-time Blackpool’s Gemma Thrower produced a fine strike that flashed past the post.
The second half followed the pattern of the first, but with Hannah Gorman alert between the posts, the Blackpool back four holding firm and midfielders working hard, the game had become an even contest.
In the 70th minute, Spooner’s corner created a goalmouth scramble from which Beth Stott’s deflected shot found the corner of the net to give the visitors the lead.
With the minutes ticking down, Preston fired wide at the far post when an equaliser looked on the cards.
Gorman was the Blackpool player of the match.
Blackpool FC Under-14 Girls won through to the semi-finals of the county cup with a penalty shoot-out win over Crosby Stewart.
Both teams battled well throughout and the first half ended goalless, with both keepers making outstanding saves.
Blackpool’s Eve Whitaker opened the scoring with a super 25-yard strike after 35 minutes.
Blackpool’s keeper Megan Hunter pulled off some fine saves but could not prevent Crosby equalising.
Blackpool battled hard looking for the winner but Crosby’s keeper somehow saved four successive efforts.
It could have gone either way but the final whistle blow and extra-time could not produce a winner in this fantastic match.
It was 5-5 after all a full house of penalties were scored, meaning sudden death. And it was Blackpool’s Megan Hunter who pulled off the save off the day to seal her side’s place in the last four.
Blackpool FC Under-13s made a strong start against Crosby as Emily Webster and Emily Slater had early shots.
Excellent passing between Georgia Keenan and Issi McIver led to Georgia opening the scoring after 10 minutes.
However, Blackpool let their guard down and an own goal levelled the scores.
Blackpool soon regrouped as Lara Newell hit the crossbar and Emily Webster finished off the rebound to make it 2-1 after 14 minutes.
McIver’s excellent pass found Newell on halfway and she ran through to score at the second attempt after her first shot was saved.
Fine midfield play enabled Webster to score her second goal and Keenan made it 5-1 after 26 minutes.
There was still time before the half-time whistle for Newell to score her second from McIver’s pass and make it 6-1 at the brak.
Crosby started the second half strongly but Blackpool scored an amazing goal through Slater.
Pharyn Ashton made some excellent saves and defender Emily Cardwell was named man of the match, though Crosby did manage a goal from a corner to make the final score 7-2.
Blackpool FC Girls U10 were full of confidence for their cup semi-final against Euxton at Cottam Hall.
Blackpool conceded early from a corner in this fast-flowing game, but they piled on the pressure and Farah Crainey equalised after good work by Brooke Mulholland and Aimee Sandvig.
Some outstanding saves from the visiting keeper kept the scores level at 1-1 throughout the second half.
In extra-time, the deadlock was broken by Mulholland following a lovely ball by Crainey
Sandvig was named player of the match, though there were many first-class displays as the final beckons.
Blackpool Girls U12 ran out 6-1 winners away to Burnley FC in the second round of the West Lancashire League Cup.
A hat-trick from Emma Siddall, and a goal each from Alicia Trewin and Chloe Chambers put Blackpool in command before Abigail Porter converted a cross from close range to cap her player of the match performance.
Coach Mike Healey was very pleased with his team’s composure and passing, and with the quality of the goals.
YMCA Under-16 Girls played the whole game at Euxton East a player short but still emerged 2-1 winners in their North Valley and Burnley Unity League fixture.
YMCA started very well and played some of their best football so far this season. Their pressure eventually told, with Molly Dyer scoring.
After missing further opportunities to increase the lead, they finally added a second on the stroke of half-time as Dyer again finished off from the edge of the box to make it 2-0 at the break.
YMCA continued to press hard and created several more clear-cut chances without being able to increase their lead.
Competing with a player short began to tell in the closing stages and Euxton pulled a goal back.
However, YMCA showed great character and resolve to claim their first win of the season.