Lady Clarets finish sixth after deserved win

On target: Emilie Forrest
On target: Emilie Forrest

A second-half goal from youthful striker Jade Brindle ensured Burnley Ladies an upbeat end to their season when they gained a deserved 1-0 victory over Chester City.

In a goalless first half, the lady Clarets were in the ascendancy, with the tireless Charlotte Hartley prominent in the midfield battles.

Winger Rachael Wood and full back Claire Collins interchanged passes down the left, and Wood’s cross was met on the full by Charlotte Coates, her goal-bound strike drawing a competent save from the Chester keeper.

When Chester counterattacked they were thwarted by a dominant defensive display from skipper Jo Holt.

After the interval, Burnley continued to press, Em Forrest spraying a pass to Wood, who in turn found Coates, only for the youngster’s shot to fade wide of the post.

A precise diagonal pass from Holt set Brindle free on goal, but she was thwarted by the advancing stopper. The striker made amends on the hour with what proved to be the winning goal.

Wood raced down the left wing and delivered a marvellous cross to the far post where Brindle converted from close range.

Burnley almost doubled their advantage in the 80th minute when Forrest glided past two defenders, her progress halted by a crude foul on the edge of the penalty area; from the resulting free kick, Emma Culshaw’s fierce drive was tipped around the post by the Chester keeper.

So the lady Clarets have achieved a respectable sixth-place finish in the North West Women’s Regional Premier League. Having this season blooded a clutch of youngsters from the talented youth team, hopes are high for a successful 2014/15 campaign.

The previous Thursday, the Lady Clarets took on Wigan Athletic Ladies at Barden Athletics Club.

On 20 minutes, full back Emma Culshaw broke the deadlock with a great attacking header from a corner which was saved by the Wigan keeper, who was unable to hold on to the ball, and Culshaw smashed the Clarets into the lead.

The Clarets scored a minute into the second half as Hartley netted with a rising drive, and further goals followed with Grace Bullock latching onto a through ball and smashing the ball into the back of the net, before Hartley doubled her tally, Forrest volleyed in the goal of the game.