Nottingham Forest Ladies battled hard in wet conditions on Sunday afternoon as they earned a well-deserved point away at Fylde Ladies.
The Reds battled well throughout the 90 minutes as the defence’s hard work was repaid as they are still yet to concede in the league.
Rebecca Thomas was called into action early on as Fylde went hunting for the opener. Emily Hollinshead was the first player to test Thomas as she skipped past two red shirts and shot from distance but her effort was saved with ease. Olivia Wilde’s chance was next but her powerful effort was palmed by Thomas around the left-hand post.
The home side then had three corners in as many minutes as they piled the early pressure on the Forest defence but Thomas was able to deal with the initial two corners and the third landed on top of The Reds' goal.
Forest's first chance to test the Fylde defence came on the 13th minute after Amy Dicken slipped the ball through The Coasters' defence and into the feet of Katie Middleton but her whipped cross failed to find a red shirt and was cleared.
Back-line pairing Sammy Conroy and Kelly Darby linked up well minutes later as they broke up a Fylde attack. Conroy produced a well-timed, last-ditch tackle to win back the ball after Nikki Berko had picked it up on the edge of the area and captain Darby was on hand to clear it away.
Berko was involved in the action again for The Coasters as she came close to putting her side a goal ahead a minute before half-time. Berko had broken free inside The Reds' 18-yard box but Thomas had quickly spotted the danger and was fast off her line to get down and gather up the ball from the striker’s feet.
Hollinshead continued to prove a nuisance for The Reds as she rocketed another shot from outside the area. Walters blocked out the initial sting off the shot and Thomas got down with ease to save.
Fylde were awarded a free-kick in the 59th minute after substitute Chloe Adams was brought down. The Reds cleared the ball from a congested penalty area but only as far as the edge of the box where Wilde was waiting to hit the loose ball back into the area but Thomas saved.
Thomas’s best save of the afternoon soon followed. Hollinshead was once again involved in the attack for Fylde as she broke free and skipped past several red shirts towards the 18-yard box. The winger then rifled a shot from 20 yards which was sailing towards the back of the net but before it was able to sneak in below the crossbar, Thomas leapt up to push the ball over the top with her fingertips.
Dicken nearly put Forest ahead with 15 minutes to play after her curling effort was heading for the bottom left-hand corner but Brittany Jackson left it late to push the ball behind for a corner.
Rae Griffiths then came close to putting her name on the scoresheet from the subsequent corner as she rose the highest to meet a cross from Grace Walters but her headed effort was wide.
The game ended deep inside the ninth minute of stoppage time and inside the Forest penalty area. The Reds had to fend of several late efforts from Fylde to secure a point for their side.
The first landed at the feet of Jenna Carroll who rocketed her effort off the crossbar. The ball then bounced straight back inside the 18-yard box and as The Coasters tried everything to bundle it over the line, Thomas calmly took control of the ball to the sound of the final whistle.
Forest: Thomas, Harkin, Darby (c), Conroy (Worthington 86’), Walters, Griffin, Constantinou, Sanderson, Dicken, Adam (Griffiths 74’), Middleton
Subs not used: Hallam
Bookings: Dicken 18’
Fylde: Jackson, Wild, Merrin, Carroll, Fuller, Rowe (Adams 55’), Forster, Young (c), Hollinshead, Berko, Charlton (Taylor 67’)
Subs not used: L. Turner, Kelsh, E. Turner