A star-performance from skipper, Jo Holt, could not prevent Burnley Ladies suffering a 6 – 0 reverse when they visited high-flying Crewe Alexandra.
The lady Clarets opened the match brightly, Rachael Wood and Jo Rohman prevailing in their midfield contests. The vibrant Charlotte Hartley latched on to a Wood through-ball and was only thwarted by a brave save from the Crewe keeper, diving at the winger’s feet.
But a calamitous 15-minute period midway through the first half put the contest outside of Burnley’s reach, defensive frailties and individual errors costing three soft goals.
Burnley rallied to try to reduce the deficit, a superb 50-yard pass from centre-half, Emma Culshaw, almost setting striker Jade Brindle free on goal. Trickery from Wood won a free kick, and Holt’s 25-yarder flew inches over the bar.
At the other end of the pitch Burnley keeper, Sophie Valentine, redeemed herself for an earlier lapse when she tipped a fierce long range effort over the bar.
The powerful Crewe outfit were 4 – 0 up within five minutes of the restart and, where many teams would have capitulated, the lady Clarets showed character and were unfortunate not to reduce the deficit. Claire Collins deftly set up Wood whose left foot drive from the corner of the penalty area shaved the bar. A superb jinking run from Jane Sexton carved an opportunity for Collins but she was repelled by the Crewe stopper.
Having foiled Burnley’s riposte, Crewe added two further goals in the dying minutes of the game. On Sunday, Burnley Ladies entertain Irlam Ladies at Barden Sports Club, kick-off 2pm.