BURNLEY Ladies can now focus their efforts on North West Premier League survival after a 4 – 2 cup defeat at Liverpool Feds.
A combination of heavy pitch and a strong blustery wind conspired to ensure a scrappy, error-strewn game. Playing against the elements, the lady Clarets found themselves 2-0 down within 15 minutes, both goals appearing to be converted from offside positions.
Burnley rallied and had several chances to achieve parity. Stephanie Meeks broke through the Liverpool backline but was thwarted by a point-blank save from the impressive keeper.
A penetrating run down the left flank by Jo Rohman culminated in her dragging her shot narrowly wide of the far post. Skipper Jo Holt burst forward from her centre-back position to force another competent save from the keeper. A superb cross from Meeks was partially cleared to Emma Namba who looked certain to score but her rasping drive was blocked on the edge of the six-yard box by a Liverpool defender.
Liverpool would have increased their lead on 25 minutes if not for a fine save from Sophie Valentine, diving full stretch to her right to tip the ball around the post.
In the final minutes of the first-half Rohman combined well with overlapping full back, Vicky Smith, who drilled a superb cross along the edge of the six-yard box that narrowly evaded the Clarets’ strikers.
In the second half the lady Clarets, with the wind at their backs, laid siege to the Liverpool goal in what was becoming a bruising encounter. In the 55th minute, a cross from Rohman was neatly converted by Leah Morrisey (pictured) from six yards. But a defensive error three minutes later allowed Liverpool to restore their two-goal advantage. Burnley came roaring back and on the hour a pin-point pass from Smith split the Liverpool defence and Rohman crashed the ball into the roof of the net to make it 3 – 2. Burnley pressed for the equaliser but were denied by a combination of astute goal-keeping and wayward finishing.
Then 10 minutes from the end a long range Liverpool effort deceived Valentine in the Burnley goal to clinch a 4-2 victory for the Merseyside outfit.
On Sunday, the lady Clarets visit Irlam for a vital league encounter.