Clarets ladies beaten

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Burnley Ladies’ run of poor results continued when they suffered a 2-0 reverse at home to Denton.

But they will be wondering how they lost a game they dominated. Burnley were rampant from the off, with Stephanie Meeks getting on the end of a Laura Hesketh cross, only to rattle the post.

Meeks and Hesketh were denied by acrobatic goalkeeping, wayward shooting and desperate goal-line clearances, and a thunderous 20-yard strike by skipper Jo Holt was thwarted by further heroics from the keeper.

But after 30 minutes, against the run of play, Denton took the lead when a free kick was deflected into the path of their striker, unmarked eight yards from goal. Burnley’s appeals for off-side were ignored and the goal stood.

Burnley continued in the ascendancy. During one goal-mouth scramble the ball appeared to cross the line before it was cleared but, the goal was not awarded.

A lapse of concentration by the Burnley defence within two minutes of the restart gifted Denton a second goal. From this point Denton put 10 players behind the ball and the Clarets laid siege to the visitors’ goal. A mazy run and cross from Hesketh was met by central midfielder Jo Rohman, but her effort cleared the bar. An incisive spurt from full back Becky Sidley created a chance for Meeks, but the striker’s fierce drive swerved narrowly wide.

In the final 30 minutes Burnley made three attacking substitutions, bringing on playmaker Em Forrest along with wingers Danielle Cooper and Carly Salkeld. A superb crossfield pass from Morrisey found Hesketh on the right wing, who bore down on goal only to miss the target from the corner of the six-yard box.

Star-performer Hesketh (pictured) again broke through the Denton backline only for her rasping shot to be deflected wide by the keeper without her knowing much about it. A flowing passing movement through the midfield culminated in the industrious Hayley Newham lifting her shot over the bar.

Berwick, Rohman, Meeks and Forrest all came close in the last few minutes, but the Denton defence held firm.