Lady Clarets earn point after Cooper brace

Star performer Rachael Wood. Picture: Taylor Gregson
Star performer Rachael Wood. Picture: Taylor Gregson

Two goals from the irrepressible Danni Cooper earned Burnley Ladies a share of the points in a 2–2 draw against the City of Manchester.

A strong cross-wind rendered fluent football difficult, but two evenly matched teams produced an absorbing encounter played out mostly in the midfield areas.

The match started disastrously for the lady Clarets, a misplaced goal-kick gifting Manchester the lead after only three minutes.

But Burnley responded immediately, Cooper drilling a fierce low shot into the bottom corner of the net from 18 yards to restore parity.

Manchester regained the lead from the penalty spot after 20 minutes.

Prior to the interval, Burnley pushed for an equaliser with wingers Rachael Wood and Charlotte Hartley threatening down the flanks.

A strike from Em Forrest was well saved by the Manchester keeper and a rising drive from Katie Pollard narrowly cleared the angle.

After the break, Wood’s pace repeatedly unsettled her marker.

Following one such raid, the ball broke for Mollie Farrell whose long-range strike from the left touchline drifted narrowly wide of the far post.

Manchester’s assaults on the Burnley goal were repelled by ferocious tackling and timely interceptions from the claret backline, together with competent handling from stand-in keeper, Kirsty Reader.

Burnley deservedly levelled the scores in the 77th minute as youngster Grace Bullock bore down on goal, her progress only being halted by a trip on the edge of the penalty box.

The resulting free kick from skipper Jo Holt was palmed away by the Manchester keeper, but Cooper responded quicker than the defenders to head in her second goal of the game.

In the dying minutes of the game the lady Clarets pressed for a winner, but without success.

The Mancunians almost pinched it in added time, but were thwarted by a heroic goal-line clearance from centre back Claire Collins.

So the match finished 2-2, a fair result, and another hard-earned point for the lady Clarets.

On Sunday, Burnley Ladies take on league-leaders, Morcambe, in a double header at Barden Sports and Athletics Club,with the kick-off for the first game at 1 p.m.