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Following Bowland’s draw with Pendle on the Wednesday of Roses week, Fylde Bs learnt that they would be going to Roses.
That made for three out of a possible four College teams being represented by Fylde at Roses.
Already with a win and a draw in the bag, the onus was on Fylde’s football Bs to continue the great success of Fylde’s netball the day before.
Fylde started with a strong team, despite having an equally vital match the following week, one which would crown them Champions, captain Sam Carney fielded the strongest team at his disposal.
James College were entering the fixture off the back of four games in which they had scored 22 goals, more than five each game. A reminder that Fylde’s defensive partnership of Carney and Matt May would need to have full concentration to avoid James from adding to their goal tally at Roses.
The game started well for Fylde who pressed well up the pitch as their two strikers Joe Range and Bradley Garner found joy playing off the shoulder of James College’s back line. Their efforts were rewarded early on in the match as Garner ran clear of James College’s high line, shrugging off the closest defender and converting well past the helpless James College keeper. Fylde were 1-0 up and were good value for their lead.
The scoreline was doubled not long later in similar fashion, as a through ball over the James College defence, was met by Range who calmly drilled the ball into the bottom corner, giving Fylde a 2-0 lead. Range was a threat for the majority of the game, as his ample footwork and speedy acceleration gave Fylde the impetus in the opening half.
Fylde’s central midfield partnership of Chris Swainson and Jonny Ainscow were where Fylde showed their dominance.
Swainson threw himself about, battling hard for the Fylde cause, while Ainscow provided the calm influence allowing Fylde to keep the ball for long periods, with great success. At times Fylde’s buildup play was exceptional, pass and moving into space allowing the team not only to look good on the ball, but provide the substance of strong attacking opportunities.
Just before half time Fylde gained a free kick which resulted in their final goal of the game. Crossed in by May from the half way line, Ash Briggs was able to glance a header goalward which rustled into the back of the net, his first goal for the Bs. With Fylde now 3-0 to the good, it was hard to see James College getting back in the game as Fylde’s defence coped well with any attack James offered.
The second half was a bit flat from Fylde as James gradually threatened to get themselves back in the game. Although Fylde had opportunities from substitute Jordan Merna as he ran clear as well as Danny Gallagher who was a threat all day from the left wing, the team couldn’t add to the three from the first half. James did get a consolation goal, mid-way through the second half and probably the best goal of the game. A great dribble from their central midfielder and pass to their striker ended with a shot whizzing past the Fylde keeper, 3-1.
As the final whistle blew, the reality of the match was that Fylde were never really tested.
Great performance from across the park, pushed the side forward giving James College no real chance of getting anything from the game.
Captain Carney spoke to SCAN after the game: “‘We only found out we were playing on Wednesday, so obviously I’m delighted we could contribute to the event and Lancaster’s overall winning total. Half of us are third years, and it was a nice way to mark our last experience of Roses at University.”