• James McCormick

Fylde fight back to see off Derby County Women

Derby County Women fell to a 4-1 defeat at home to AFC Fylde in the FA Women’s National League North on Sunday.

It was a strong start for the Ewes; Sophie Domingo had closed down the Fylde defence well and earned two chances in the opening minutes from taking the ball off the back line, but the bounce just couldn’t fall right for the forward.

Amy Sims and Megan Tinsley embraced the attack as marauding wing backs, as Domingo laid the ball back to the former on the edge of the box only 17 minutes in, but her attempt went looping and struck the bar. It was a close call for Fylde, but it gave Sims the taste for a goal in the first half.

She came through ten minutes later, this time as the ball had been thrown in from the left to Callan Barber whose drilled cross found Sims on the edge of the box where she hit true and worked the ball into the top corner, putting the home side ahead.

Fylde had their own chances; long free kicks being worked over the Ewes’ defence, but they could not make much of it. Five minutes after they had gone behind, they capitalised on a stray pass in midfield, slipping the ball through to Faye McCoy who drilled the ball into the bottom left corner, just out of Sarah Morgan’s reach, and levelled the scoring.

The final two biggest chances of the first half were in the Ewes’ favour, Domingo laid the ball into Jade Formaston who managed to jink past the keeper, but her strike was miraculously stopped on the line by a sliding defender and cleared.

Sherry McCue played a defence splitting pass only minutes later down the left, to early substitute Jodie Michalska who found Domingo in the centre, but the cross just fell away from the attacker before she could get the final touch.

The second half saw an unfortunate start for the Ewes, Emily Hollinshead was slipped through for the Coasters and she rounded Morgan to put the ball in the net, snatching the ball away from the goalkeeper's grasp in the final moments.

The reaction to the goal was a sign of confidence and character, as Derby took control and put Fylde on the back foot. A long free kick played in by Katie Anderson was piled onto by attackers and defenders alike but couldn’t quite cross the line.

Minutes later a smart short free kick played to Hannah Keryakoplis was put to Domingo on the wing, and her cross to Michalska was met with a good save from Savannah Smith.

Sims had a go for her second of the match, a well worked underlap with Domingo put the right back through to shoot but she could not quite find the right spot.

Ten minutes on, Fylde scored against the run of play, as an effort from distance was met with an equally extraordinary save from Morgan who flew to push the 30 yarder onto the bar, but the fall of the ball was not kind in the slightest. Jess Holbrook found it at her feet, and she rounded Morgan to put it away for 3-1.

McCoy got her second for the visitors after a cross found her at the back stick for her to tuck away, ending any chance of a fightback, as the Ewes dropped points in a 4-1 win.

Derby face off against Middlesbrough next weekend in the FA Women’s National League North as they look to get back onto the right track for the season.

By James McCormick