|Prior to the start of the season there were few who backed Fylde Coast Gates FC to win the Division 1 title but at Boundary Park, Blackpool this morning they required a win against bottom club FC Kingsfield to win the league in their final match of the season. Could they do it?|
Fylde Coast Gates FC's third place finish in Division 2B in the 2006/07 season was good enough to achieve promotion to Division 1. The club struggled to find their feet early doors winning only two of their opening ten league fixtures. Although they improved greatly as the season progressed a finishing position of tenth was the best that they could achieve. The campaign was made memorable when they won the Division 1 Cup at the ground of Blackpool Wren Rovers against CTK FC.
Few, if any, considered that their late upturn in form would transfer to serious challenge in 2008/09 but they were wrong. They've almost led Division 1 from the start and three points this morning against bottom club FC Kingsfield at Boundary Park would give them the Division 1 title and promotion to the Premier Division. This would be a remarkable achievement for manager Brian Carr and his club that's been toiling away for years in the lower Divisions with generally the same core of players, a mixture of youth and experience.
In the Gledhill a first round bye and a win against Automedon set up a third round tie against Poulton. They were gutted to put six past them and still lose as the top flight side knocked them out 7-6. In the Divisional Cup they could not repeat last season's triumph as they were knocked out in the semi-final by eventual winners Northern Care Reserves FC.
Today's opponents FC Kingsfield have had a difficult season. They too were playing their final match of the season and whatever the result they'll finish bottom with the prospect of relegation a distinct possibility. The table also shows them as being without a win but this is a little unfair due to Bispham Juniors folding. CTK FC also left us earlier in the season. One point was all they had against their name in the table this morning and that was achieved with a 0-0 draw against Bloomfield Vets. This was their final opportunity to get a win on the board but manager Roy Atkinson was well aware of the difficulty of the task in hand.
In the Gledhill they too were knocked out in Round 3. After a first round bye and a 6-2 win against Skye FC they were beaten 6-5 by North West Kitchens FC. In the Divisional Cup they lost at the first hurdle against Ward Heating FC.
Great weather once again for Sunday football along the Fylde Coast with blue skies, warm sunshine and a light breeze. The Boundary Park surface looked thirsty with the pitch being hard and bobbly. Referee John McNicholas looked as thirsty as the pitch but at 11am the final league game of the season for these teams was underway with Fylde Coast Gates FC in their yellow and blue strip kicking towards where the Argosy club once stood.
FC Kingsfield 2008/09.
Fylde Coast Gates FC 2008/09.
Mr McNicholas with Robbie Slater (Left) and Darren Atkinson.
Gates' keeper Mick Hopkins.
In the daisies.
On course for a collision.
After a nervy opening Gates took the lead on 10 minutes. A ball dinked over the top found Creelman through on goal from the angle. He drew the keeper and showed great composure and complete unselfishness to roll it across the six yard box enabling Zak McGuirk to tap it into an empty net. Quality from Creelman who had every chance of taking the Division 1 top scorers award despite being injured for over half the season. Good to see him back from that bad injury setback.
Zac McGuirk scores one the easiest goals from three yards to put the Gates 1-0 ahead.
FC Kingsfield are no pushovers and the rest of the half was relatively even with Kingsfield defending well whilst creating the occasional good chance at the other end.
Headed over – he should have done better.
Gates' manager Brian Carr still nervous at only 1-0 up..
'He takes it skillfully around the Vimto can'.
The striker gets a face full of glove at the far post. Referee McNicholas in summer fatigues.
Robbie Slater heads it clear.
Simon Oswell (Left)
Half time score : FC Kingsfield 0 – 1 Fylde Coast Gates FC.
Half time drinks. “We've still not won it”.
FC Kingsfield manager Roy Atkinson.
Kingsfield keeper Lamby.
Saving at the feet of Oswell.
Jar Jar launches one.
On 55 minutes Fylde Coast Gates FC relieved the tension of their supporters with a second goal. It was a quality strike from Creelman who took it inside at pace and then crashed home a half volley from 25 yards that dipped over the head of the keeper. 2-0.
Steve Creelman (Left) settles Gate's nerves with a classy finish.
Darren Atkinson (Right)
On 63 minutes it was game over as the defensive frailties that have haunted FC Kingsfield for most of the season came to the fore. An inoccuous corner from Oswell was allowed to bounce twice before Callum Chadderton moved on to the ball unmarked to slot it home. The rest of the half was played out with few more chances of note as both teams brought the subs on for the last twenty minutes of the season in the sunshine.
Callum Chadderton (Second left) is first the corner and makes the game safe at 3-0.
Another season over for these two sides as the players shake hands.
Final score: FC Kingsfield 0 – 3 Fylde Coast Gates FC.
If anybody from the Halfway House FC is reading this they can take it from me that FC Kingsfield gave it 100% in this match and until the second goal went on on 53 minutes they were very much in contention. They have a couple of good young players up front who trouble opposition defences with their pace and once or twice Gates' keeper Hopkins was called upon to make a couple of decent saves. I'm sure we'll see FC Kingsfield back again next season although it remains to be seen which Division they will be in.
Fylde Coast Gates were understandably a little nervous this morning and it showed in their play early on as they struggled to make the breakthrough. Even at 1-0 up in the second half they occasionaly looked vulnerable at the back to the pace of Jimmy but when Creelman scored the second they at last started to relax and in the end ran out comfortable winners. Good performances from Oswell and Creelman upfront but hardworking offensive midfielder Callum Chadderton took the Man of the Match award for his workrate and deserved goal. He took home the football and trophy kindly provided by Result's sponsors and kit manufacturers Teamsport90. Congratulations to Fylde Coast Gates FC and good luck to them in the top Division next season. Well refereed by Mr McNicholas who had an incident free game despite the rewards that were riding on it.
BFSFA Division 1 Champions 2008/09 – Fylde Coast Gates FC
The Teamsport90 Man of the match Callum Chadderton. Binks gives manager Carr a nice cool beer.