BURNLEY Ladies were severely punished for a first half no-show when they crashed 5-0 on their visit to Crewe Alexandra.
The Clarets started the match brightly, with Em Forrest and Vicky Smith dominating the midfield area and creating half-chances for the lively striker, Ainsley Strickland.
In stark contrast to this promising opening, during the last 30 minutes of the half the usually-reliable Burnley defence capitulated and conceded five goals due to a combination of slack marking, a misjudged off-side appeal and an under-hit back pass.
With the game effectively over at the break, many sides might have crumbled and been on the wrong end of a cricket score.
But the Burnley Ladies showed a lot of character and put in a much improved second half performance and were unfortunate not to reduce the deficit.
At the centre of the transformation was star performer Jo Rohman, the experienced play-maker working tirelessly to enable Burnley to retrieve some pride.
A couple of long range efforts from Vicky Smith drifted narrowly wide, and the impressive Strickland struck a superb volley from the edge of the box but the Crewe keeper somehow managed to deflect it onto the post.
The introduction of Debbie Trayner with 20 minutes remaining further sharpened Burnley’s attacking edge, her repeated raids down the right flank unsettling the Crewe rearguard.
A sweetly struck drive from Forrest required further acrobatics from the keeper to deny Burnley a consolation goal, the Crewe stopper producing another fine save in the dying seconds of the game to thwart the ever-willing Strickland.