Fylde coast hockey review: Fylde men slip in title race but Lytham St Annes Ladies keep pressure on ahead of crunch clash
Fylde Men slipped up in the North West division two title race, losing 4-2 at third-placed Wilmslow 2, though their two late goals may yet prove crucial.
Missing several regulars for the second v third match in Cheshire, Fylde fell behind inside five minutes to a Wilmslow side unbeaten in 2019.
Onrushing keeper Nigel Sadler was beaten by a delightful lob and Fylde added to their problems by twice being reduced to 10 men in the first half.
Wilmslow doubled their lead and it remained 2-0 at half-time as James Oakes missed a glorious chance and Simon Major hit the post following up a penalty corner.
Fylde came out strongly for the second half and Oakes had a goal disallowed.
Again discipline let Fylde down as Oli Santamera was sent off and Wilmslow went three up despite Ian Swaine doing well to stop the ball on the line.
Fylde made tactical changes knowing goals were important as league positions are determined by head-to-head results.
Chris Toward flicked high into the net, and although Wilmslow grabbed a fourth Oakes fired home Fylde’s second from the top of the D.
Those late goals mean Fylde’s promotion bid is still in their own hands, though they now trail leaders Timperley 2 by three points with three to play.
Fylde 2 lost 8-2 at home to Golborne’s senior side in North West three north. They were soon three down to dynamic opposition but pulled one back early in the second half when Simon Allen slammed home after good work by Will Pickles and Ben Mortimer.
Golborne scored two more before Jake Merritt’s drive earned a penalty corner from which Mortimer scored. However, Golborne added more goals to climb into the top two.
Fylde 3 had no substitutes away to Leyland and Chorley 2 in division five north north but still emerged 4-2 winners.
Fylde took an early lead when Eamon Hasoon bmaboozled the defence but the hosts equalised against the run of play.
Important saves by Craig Nutter kept Fylde on terms and they regained the lead when captain Oli Holmes fired home from a penalty corner. It was 2-2 by half-time but Fylde attacked from the off in the second half, Ryan Nicholls restoring the lead after Drew Dickinson’s shot was saved.
Phil Weir, man of the match Pete Latimer, Craig Tilley and Nutter made vital tackles to deny Leyland a third equaliser before Ryan Nicholls rang strongly down the left and set up Hasoon, who lifted theball over the keeper for the fourth.
The win pulls Fylde level with third-placed Lancaster Morecambe 2, who they play in their final match in three weeks. Wigton showed why they are top of six north with a 9-0 win away to Fylde 4, despite some fine saves by Luke Whitelow. Harry Gordon was outstanding and Luca Sempers contributed greatly to an improved second half.
Fylde Ladies were soon on the back foot away to Leeds in Conference North and lost 3-1.
Leeds were soon dominating possessi0n and led 2-0 at half-time. They added a third before Mollie Mason pulled one back for Fylde, who look to improve at home to Ben Rhydding on Saturday.
Fylde 2 kept their noses in front in the North Two north west title race with a 2-1 win away to the Longridge first team.
Sally Livesey scored the only goal of the first half from a short penalty corner. Longridge equalised only for Hannah Mears to win the match with a penalty flick.
Goalkeeper Katie Barker kept her former club at bay for a victory which preserves Fylde’s one-point lead over Lytham Ladies, who they visit for their penultimate fixture on Saturday.
Fylde 3 are also chasing their title and stand just a point off top spot in the Lancashire Central premier division after a 4-0 home win over Lancaster 2.
Hattie Madden opened the scoring and doubled the lead by half-time.
They continued to pass well but were denied by the Lancaster keeper until Gemma Eastham scored with a great shot.
Madden completed her hat-trick from Rucky Mahmood’s excellent pass.
Laura Alexander was player of the match for Fylde and they visit Lancaster and Morecambe’s first team, who top the table, on Saturday.
Fylde 4 also faced Lancaster opposition, winning 1-0 away to their third team, who are bottom of division one.
Yet another Izzy Harkins goal settled a very close match, while player of the match Debbie Fisher made a crucial save on the line.
Fylde 5 were also 1-0 winners at home to Leyland and Chorley 3 in division two.
Fylde defended superbly, despite having only nine players for the first 20 minutes. Player of the match Hannah Doyle scored the only goal in the second half.
Fylde Under-12 Girls are Lancashire champions in the EH In2Hockey tournament after winning all four games in Southport. They have qualified for the Northern round in Leeds next month.
In the equivalent boys’ competition, Fylde entered for the first time in more than 30years and finished runners-up after drawing both games.
Lytham St Annes Ladies avenged their defeat away to Garstang with a 2-0 win at AKS which kept them within a point of North Division Two north west leaders Fylde 2.
Early pressure saw Emily Adams give LSA the lead with a strike over the keeper from the top of the D.
Aimy Barrow was outstanding on the left as LSA held their lead until half-time.
Garstang attacked strongly in the second half but Hannah Shore produced probably her best save all season from a lifted shot.
This inspired her team-mates and Adams (right) smashed home a short corner for her second to seal the win.
LSA thanked their supporters and hope they will be out in force again for Saturday’s crunch clash with the leaders.
Lytham St Annes Men started well away to West Derby in North Two West but were finally edged out 4-3.
The hosts took the lead before Will Dowbiggin equalised with a reverse-stick half-volley.
West Derby regained the lead but picked up a number of cards in the second half, Keith Stone seizing his chance to equalise from a well-worked routine.
Two more West Derby goals sealed the points ,though Keith Stone scored his second in an improved Lytham performance.
LSA 2 went down 3-2 to Lancaster 2, who climbed to third in north west five north north.
Goals by Ashley Jennison and Matt Percy levelled the match, but LSA could not capitalise on their short corners as Lancaster grabbed a winner which leaves LSA not yet sure of safety.
Lytham St Annes Ladies 2 are one win away from the Lancashire Central division one title after their 1-0 win away to Leyland and Chorley 2.
LSA started quickly and Anna Tankard hit a post before Minnie Rogers scored the only goal with a sweep shot from a short corner.
Rebecca Evans and Becky Meadowcroft made some timely interceptions and Georgia Cherry had a storming game.
LSA 3 were 4-1 winners over Clitheroe and Blackburn Northern 3 at Ansdell Arena to leapfrog them in the battle at the bottom of division two.
LSA had the bulk of possession as Any Menzies made some excellent runs down the left. Lytham opened the scoring, and although Clitheroe broke away to equalise some beautiful goals sealed the win from Menzies, Mia Lewis and Lara Pilling, who shared player of the match honours with Megan Lewis.
Rossall Ladies hosted Garstang 2, hoping to avenge an ill-tempered away defeat in the Lancashire Central premier division.
The home team started strongly and Deb Wilson’s interception led to Debbie Slater setting up Sam Evans for the opening goal.
Rossall soaked up the Garstang pressure and doubled their lead when Tracey Housley converted Samantha Wilde’s short corner.
Garstang pulled one back just before half-time but Rossall were first to every ball in the second half and Wilde restored the two-goal cushion from Housley’s first-time pass.
Keeper Enya Magill was equal to anything Garstang threw at her and Slater madethe final score4-1 with an expert reverse-stick strike.