Last season’s runners-up Fylde showed no rustiness on the opening day of the FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division as they beat Leicester City 4-0 on Sunday.
Newly promoted City had a perfect 22 wins from 22 games last season but were given a real insight into the standard of their new league by Fylde in front of more than 300 fans.
Lagan Makin gave the Coasters the lead in the 18th minute with Natasha Flint adding a second in first-half stoppage time.
Charlotte Farrell added a third at Mill Farm before Flint’s second added further gloss to the scoreline.
Women's Premier League
Northern & Southern Divisions
Sunday 21 August 2016
Elsewhere, Georgia Gladwin’s goal gave Nottingham Forest a 1-0 win over Newcastle United while Blackburn Rovers took three points away from Stoke City with a 2-0 thanks to goals from Lynda Shepherd and Saffron Jordon.
Middlesbrough signalled their arrival into the Premier League by hitting reigning champions West Bromwich Albion for six.
The reigning Northern Division 1 holders were 2-0 up at half-time before adding a further four goals in the second half while Derby County saw off Bradford City 2-0.
In the Southern Division, Lewes had the result of the opening day as they came from two goals down to beat West Ham United 7-2.
Katie Bottom and Whitney Locke gave the visitors the perfect start but goals from Danielle Lane, Kim Stenning and two for Rachel Palmer had Lewes in front before half-time.
Kelly Newton headed in a fourth shortly after the break and Lane and Stenning both got seconds to give Lewes the victory.
Southern Division runners-up in 2015/16, Charlton Athletic also got their season off to a strong start with a 4-0 win over newly promoted Swindon Town.
Katie Flack headed home and a Gemma Shepherd struck in the opening half to give the hosts control and Kit Graham fired a third into the bottom corner.
Charley Clifford rounded off the performance with a stunning 35-yard strike into the top corner after 71 minutes.
And there was a thrilling 2-2 draw at Crystal Palace as last season’s South East Division One winners twice took the lead against Coventry United but had to settle for a point.
Gemma Bryan gave the hosts the lead in the first half but Steph Smith headed past Chanell Yardley to get United back on level terms.
Bryan’s second put the home side in front once more after Yardley had saved a United penalty from Maz Gauntlett.
But Coventry weren’t to be denied as Smith’s snapshot beat the Palace keeper at her near post to see the team’s share the spoils.
C&K Basildon beat Portsmouth 2-0 with goals from Lily Mellors and Zoe Rushden in the final Southern Division game of the day.