Unbeaten Fylde Men extended their lead in North Hockey League west division three but felt they had dropped points after labouring to a 2-2 draw away to Chester 2.
Fylde gave a debut to Ryan Nicholls and there was a first appearance of the season for Aaron Sadler, both of whom have impressed for the seconds.
Fylde had a big let-off when Chester missed an open goal and the hosts’ defensive style continued to frustrate the leaders.
Josh Boyne and Rob Jepson found space but couldn’t make the most of penalty corners as the first half ended goallesss.
As Chester started the second half with 10 men, Fylde overcommitted on attack and fell behind in a one-on-one, despite Nick Rainbow saving the initial effort.
The equaliser was instant as James Oakes applied the finishing touch in a goalmouth scramble.
Soon Fylde has the lead as one-touch passing between Jepson and Major resulted in Boyne breaking up the right for Oakes to grab his second.
But with Jepson off the field nursing a head injury, Fylde were again hit on the counter as Chester scored from an aerial ball.
Fylde had numerous chances but the winner just didn’t come. However, defeat for closest rivals Timperley 2 at Eirias means Fylde are now a point clear with a game in hand.
Fylde 2 continued their fine run in North West two north as they avenged a defeat by Preston 4, beating them 6-4 at Mill Farm.
Fylde always looked sharper and stormed into a 3-1 lead at half-time. Captain Simon Allen tapped in the first at the back post from Alan Simpson’s pass, then strikers Luca Sempers and Chris Walker both scored.
In the second half, Alex Horrocks bossed the midfield and Fylde stretched their lead to 5-1 with a goal by top scorer Phil Hope and a second by Sempers, a beautiful reverse stick shot.
Preston pulled back to 5-3 beforeWalker’s second on the break eased the tension.
Preston scored the final goal but Fylde remain third, a point behind Leyland and Chorley in the second automatic promotion spot.
Leyland and Chorley’s Second team beat Fylde 3 2-1 in division three north.
The first half was even but Leyland scored the only goal. Fylde had the edge in the second half, with strong attacking by wingers Duke Jones and Richard Clarke, and skilful runs from centre-back Harry Gordon.
Captain Ollie Holmes equalised with a strong hit into the bottom corner but it was Leyland who scored the winner.
Centre-forward Ollie Greenwood was man of the match, battling against far bigger opponents.
Fylde Ladies play their first National Conference North match of the year away to Cannock on Saturday.
Fylde 2 lost 3-0 away to fourth-placed Formby in West two.
Fylde 3 drew away to the Keswick senior side in West three.
Both teams battled for space until the Cumbrians opened the scoring. However, Fylde dominated the rest of the game, equalising through captain Hannah Callagher, and they can feel unlucky not to have taken all three points.
Fylde 4 ended a two-month wait for a win as Laura Girvan scored the only goal away to Fulwood in Lancashire Central division one.
Mid-table Fylde dominated the match but one goal was enough.
Fylde 5 remain unbeaten this year after beating Lancaster and Morecambe 3 6-1.
Katie Thompson and Laura Knowles both scored twice, with Charlotte Fuller and Hennie Thompson also on target in this LC division two match. Laura Knowles was player of the match in a win which saw Fylde leapfrog their opponents for third place.
The club’s Under-15 and U13 girls’ teams also won to consolidate top spot in their seven-a-side leagues.
Lytham St Annes Ladies had won their first three matches of the year but suffered an unexpected 4-0 defeat to Kendal in North division one.
The Wolfpack fell behind to a breakaway goal at AKS and several Lytham players took painful knocks. They had their chances and made some skilful moves but it just wasn’t their day.
After Kendal added a second, Lytham gambled by taking their keeper off to overload the attack.
They did create chances but Kendal scored twice more to seal victory.
Grace Webster was player of the match for the Wolfpack, who left the field with tails between legs but determined to bounce back.
Lytham St Annes Men played out a rare goalless game away to Liverpool Sefton in West division two.
Lytham were buoyed by the previous weekend’s victory and their defence and midfield stayed strong under pressure.
Will Dowbiggin’s aerials posed problems for Sefton, whose balls into the Lytham D were tidied up by the defence.
Lytham pressed more in the second half and hit a post, though opportunities were not converted.
Tempers frayed in the closing stages, and when keeper Dixon recieved a yellow card Joe Ashton put the pads on.
Dixon returned to the pitch as an outfield player, offering fresh legs at the back. Lytham stayed resilient, with Copelandsenior outstanding.
A 2-1 home victory over Windermere 2 in their game in hand saw Lytham St Annes 2 return to the top of North West four north north.
Mike Gannon and Andy Wood took charge of the side but LSA fell behind. They stayed calm and took the lead with two goals from short corners, the second in the last minute of the first half.
LSA controlled the midfield in a goalless second half, with Mark Lees outstanding, as they moved two points above Kendal 2 at the top. Both clubs are without a game this weekend.
Lytham St Annes Ladies 2 lost 1-0 away to leaders Lancaster Nomads in the Lancashire Central premier division.
Lytham came out fighting but couldn’t break through a mighty defence in a goalless first half.
It wasn’t LSA’s day and they had goals disallowed before Lancaster scored from a short corner with 30 seconds remaining.
Third-placed Lytham are now four points behind the Nomads but have two games in hand and a double-header this weekend. Laura Buckleywas player of the match.
LSA 3 climbed to fifth in Lancashire Central division two with a 1-0 win over Lancaster 4 at Ansdell Arena.
Lytham attacked strongly but couldn’t break the deadlock in the first half, despite forcing a series of short corners.
An excellent team display was rewarded in the second half when LSA scored the only goal from an Izzy Windsor deflection.