Fylde coast hockey update: Fylde Men keep pressure on in title chase as Lytham St Annes Ladies move within a point of top spot

Aaron Sadler in action for Fylde 2 against Southport
Aaron Sadler in action for Fylde 2 against Southport
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Fylde Hockey Club's Men collected another win and clean sheet in their fight for the North West division two title with a 3-0 victory at Macclesfield.

Fylde Men collected another win and clean sheet in their fight for the North West division two title with a 3-0 victory at Macclesfield.

Despite missing several regulars, Fylde played with high intensity from the off as Chris Holman, Pip Munden and Joe Neath all pressed the Macclesfield defence high up the pitch.

Chris Toward scored the only goal of the first half, finishing smartly with a first-time slap into the corner from Chris Banks’ pass.

Macclesfield put Fylde under pressure after the break and struck the crossbar, though otherwise they were denied chances.

Fylde eventually grabbed a second when Joe Neath made a strong run and gifted Jordan Payne with an open goal.

Fylde could have scored more, converting only one of nine penalty corners, though Toward did grab his second late on as Fylde remain level on points with leaders Timperley.

A weakened Fylde 2 were always up against it at home to North West division three north leaders Southport and were beaten 8-1, despite being level at half-time.

The visitors piled on the pressure from the word go but the back four of Simon Allen, Andy Mortimer, Alex Brandwood and Chris Blackburn restricted them to a single first-half goal.

Shortly before the break, Alex Brandwood linked up with brother Kristian for a quick break and beat the keeper one on one to make it 1-1.

Southport scored seven in the second half but there were positives for Fylde in the performances of Ryan Nichols and third team captain Oli Holmes.

Half-term absence took its toll on Fylde 3, who visited runaway leaders Southport 2 in five north north and lost 9-0.

Stand-in captain Craig Tilley tried his hardest but Fylde conceded twice in the first five minutes and were five down at half-time.

They steadied the ship for a while in the second half, Eamon Hasoon and Dan Howe troubling Southport with their pace and skill, but the support was lacking and Southport scored four more.

It was an unhappy week for Fylde Ladies, who were docked a point in Conference North after conceding a rearranged Sunday game at Leicester at Leicester,then lost 2-0 at Belper on Saturday.

With players still unavailable over half-term, Fylde conceded both goals early in the second half.

Fylde 2 had a bad day at the office, losing 5-0 at home to Garstang.

It was their first defeat all season in division two north west and saw their lead cut to a single point with four to play.

Unavailability did cost Fylde but third-placed Garstang played really well.

Several Fylde players were in unfamiliar positions but they needed to defend better as a unit and paid for not releasing the ball earlier.

Summer Muirhead and Rebecca Worthington both scored twice for Garstang, with Lucy Treaddell also on target.

Lytham St Annes Ladies moved within a point of division two north west leaders Fylde 2 with a 3-1 win over South Lakes at AKS

Aimy Barrow and Tasha Webster soon began to turn the screw and Georgia Perkins opened the scoring from a short corner.

South Lakes responded well but the LSA back four dealt with any pressure.

LSA regained their dominance as the half wore on and doubled their lead when Georgina Read fired into the top corner from the top of the D.

South Lakes were pegged back for much of the second half but their keeper kept LSA at bay until Read netted her second. The visitors did pull one back with a shot which bobbled over the line, though LSA had made the most of leaders’ Fylde’s first defeat of the season against Garstang (see above).

There’s all the play for at the top of the table with four games left and Fylde due to visit AKS on March 16.

Lytham 2 moved four points clear at the top of Lancashire Central division one with a 5-0 victory away to Lancaster 3.

LSA moved the ball well, with Harley Greene and Minnie Rogers working hard in the middle, but the home keeper kept them at bay until Anna Tankard slotted home the opener. With Lancaster unable to breach their defensive wall, LSA were two up at half-time after Rogers scored.

LSA continued to link up well after the restart as Tankard scored her second.

Hannah Beeby pushed up from the back and scored herself with a fine run and shot.

Samantha Read’s first ever goal, a straight strike from a short corner, completed the scoring on another fine day for the team.

A depleted Lytham Men’s side always faced a tough test away to north two west leaders Urmston and were defeated 6-0.

Urmston were quick to cover and close any Lytham attacks down, and they led 5-0 at half-time as the visitors struggled to get out of their half.

Tom Evans went closest for LSA towards the end of the half but shot narrowly wide.

LSA dealt with the pressure better in the second half, restricting their hosts to one further goal and attacking more themselves, though Will Stone couldn’t find the target from a penalty corner.

This was a baptism of fire for several Lytham players, though Barraclough and Sharples were excellent.

Lytham 2 were beaten 5-0 at home by north west five north’s bottom club Kendal 2 at AKS. LSA were missing five regulars but were caught in possession too often and could not capitalise on their chances.