Fylde coast hockey review: Lytham Ladies go top of league as Men hold the leaders

Action from Lytham Men's draw with Urmston
Action from Lytham Men's draw with Urmston

Lytham St Annes Men held leaders Urmston to a 2-2 draw in North Two West.

Copeland had an early chance as Lytham attacked from the start and they were rewarded when Will Dowbiggin cut in from the left and shot between the keeper’s legs for the opening goal.

Sharples was on top form at the back for Lytham but could not prevent Urmston scoring, though Lytham regained the lead when Dowbiggin doubled his tally with a drag-flick.

In the second half, Lytham continued to create opportunities but Urmston threw everything at them.

Dixon and Will Stone both made clearances off the line as Urmston became frustrated, earning several yellow cards.

This did not prevent them equalising though Lythambattled for a winner, Copeland clipping the ball over the keeper but just wide.

Lytham 2 made it back-to-back wins in North West Five North North after beating their Kendal counterparts 2-1.

A determined Lytham side were two up in 20 minutes as they dominated the game.

Kendal pulled one back before half-time but Lytham held on for the win despite some late scares.

Lytham Ladies went top of North Division Two as they returned from their longest away trip of the season with a 3-1 victory at South Lakes.

Despite missing several players, Lytham started strongly only to fall behind from a break out wide.

Lytham equalised but couldn’t add a second before half-time despite Gilly Shield’s fine midfield passing as the home keeper was everywhere.

After injury forced a change of umpire, Heidi Whitehead’s great run and pass enabled Livvy Robinson to put Lytham ahead.

The unstoppable Whitehead then set up Grace Websterfor the third and Jasmine Carey was unlucky not to score her first for the team.

The hosts did make some breaks but Aimie Knighton was always on hand to clear up and Georgia Perkins made some fine tackles.

Lytham 2 stayed top of Central Lancashire Division One with a 3-0 win over Leyland and Chorley 2 at AKS.

Georgia Cherry’s run and cross set up the opener for Jasmine Tang.

They defended their slender advantage until half-time as Harley Greene and Minnie Rogers dealt with a couple of short corners.

Greene was sent off along with a Leyland player after the break before play calmed down.

Lytham struck a post before finally doubling their lead through Rogers, who sealed victory by edging in her second from Anna Tankard’s short corner.

Fylde Ladies made the long trip to Leicester for a noon start in Conference North and were beaten 2-0.

The hosts broke the deadlock midway through the first half in a high-tempo game.

Fylde countered well, applying pressure and winning numerous corners, but couldn’t beat the keeper.

Leicester started faster after the break and doubled their lead with a deflected goal. Fylde kept up the pressure and had plenty of encouraging phases but couldn’t force their way back into the game.

A Chris Toward hat-trick inspired Fylde Men to a convincing 7-3 win over Macclesfield as they kept the pressure on at the top of North West Division Two.

Fylde looked a shadow of their usual selves and were 2-0 down within 20 minutes.

Some uncharacteristic mistakes and less than clinical finishing meant confidence was looking low, though they pulled one back right on half-time, when Simon Major applied the final touch to reduce the deficit.

That proved a turning point as two well-taken goals from Toward put Fylde ahead in the second half and James Oakes touched home an inch-perfect pass from Rob Jepson to make it 4-2.

Macclesfield reduced the deficit but Fylde’s fast and accurate passing continued to open up their defence.

Jepson cut in from the left to set up Toward for his hat-trick. A lovely team goal followed as Oakes’ interplay with Ian Swaine gave an easy tap-in for Jordan Payne.

Fylde finished in style, man of the match Jepson again cutting in from the left but this time smashing the ball high into the net. Fylde remain second, a point behind Timperley.

Bottom club Fylde 2 were beaten 4-1 away to Southport’s senior side in North West Three North. They thwarted their hosts in the first half but conceded shortly before the break from a short corner.

Fylde conceded twice more before Chris Holman set up Matt Atkinson for a shot which sneaked past the keeper from the edge of the D. Southport scored again and that’s how it finished despite determined attempts from Fylde.

Fylde 3 hosted Southport 2 with no more success, losing 7-1 to the division Five North North leaders.

They were overwhelmed by Southport’s fast play but at least got on the scoresheet when Jack Kenmare slotted home after a great run and pass by man of the match Will Pickles. That made it 2-1 at half-time but then Southport showed why they are top of the table, despite Fylde’s best efforts.

Fylde 4 also faced the league leaders at Wigton in Six North and lost 4-1.

Fylde’s new 4-3-1 formation was severely tested as they trailed 2-0 at half-time.

Wigton added a third before Banks pulled one back when man of the match Danny Howe’s tireless running earned a penalty corner.

Fylde Ladies 2 lost top spot in North Division Two after being held 2-2 away to Garstang. This game was hotly contested and Garstang deserve credit for staying in it and pulling level with a breakaway goal in the last two minutes.

A mistake at the back enabled Garstang to take the lead but Fylde were ahead at half-time thanks to goals by Rachel McCrea and Hannah Mears.

They pushed for a third in the second half, when perhaps they should have closed the game out, but despite the late setback they remain unbeaten.

Fylde 3 played out a goalless draw away to Lancaster 2 in the Lancashire Central premier division.

After an even first half, Fylde dominated the second, winning numerous short corners which were not converted .

The clubs clashed again at Mill Farm, where Fylde 4 lost to Lancaster 3 by the only goal in division one.

In a tough but enjoyable match, Izzy Slater made some excellent saves but conceded a late winner, and Izzy Harkins was player of the match in a full-blooded encounter.

Mid-table Fylde 5 drew 0-0 with Lancaster and Morecambe 3 in division two, defending strongly in this evenly balanced game. Solid midfielder Heather Appleyard was the player of the match. .

Rossall Ladies fought back from behind only to lose 5-2 away to Garstang 2 in hockey’s Lancashire Central premier division.

Rossall had the majority of the possession in the first half but couldn’t make this pay.

Garstang’s keeper was shot-ready, playing her second match of the day, and made numerous saves which would have beaten a lesser keeper.

Garstang took the lead with a mis-hit shot wrong-footed Enya Magill and bobbled over the line.

Enya then kept her team in it with a couple of excellent diving saves but Garstang scored a second goal just before half-time from a short corner.

Rossall came out strongly for the second half pulled one back when Gemma Nicole controlled Emma Gilfoyle’s cross into the D and in the same movement fired a reverse-stick shot home.

They then drew level when Jill Perkes-Wilson exchanged passes with Debbie Slater from her short corner and fired into the far corner.

But as Rossall raised their game so did Garstang, with Sam Evans forced off after a nasty clash of heads.

Garstang took control, adding three goals to complete the victory.

The defeat leaves Rossall eighth in the table and anxious to return to winning ways at home to Pendle Forest 3 in Saturday’s noon encounter.