In preparation for Sunday’s FA Women’s Cup third qualifying round tie at Morecambe on Sunday, Burnley FC Ladies won at Blackpool Wren Rovers by the odd goal in nine!
The lady Clarets travelled to Blackpool with only 11 players for a season-defining game against high-flying Wren Rovers, who had maximum points from five league games.
The teams observed a minute silence and applause before the game as a show of respect for the tragic death of 15-year-old Cadley player, Melissa Smith, who died the previous Sunday.
Wrens made the initial push forward but were held back by a Clarets team playing with determination and fortitude, who started to create opportunities at the other end.
However, on 10 minutes the Wrens went ahead when a throw in landed at the feet of the gifted Gemma Watson who feinted left, right and left again before unleashing a shot from 16 yards past keeper Jody Banks.
The early setback did not deter the Clarets, whose determination was rewarded after a cross dropped towards Emilie Forrest, who converted with an awesome volley from 10 yards.
The hosts regained the lead just before the break from a corner, and after the restart fell further behind.
The lady Clarets were looking dejected but responded well and started to apply pressure.
A through ball by Justine Wallace into Beccy Hayton provided a golden opportunity that she converted into the top corner.
At 3-2 the Clarets were in the ascendancy.
And when a freekick was awarded for a foul on Michelle Brindle, Wallace stepped up and unleashed a trademark delivery that was spilled by the keeper, and Jo Rohman teed up Hayton to complete her hat trick from close range.
The hosts’ disappointment was to continue as a cross by Emily Wilkinson resulted in another goalmouth scramble and Wallace slotted home to give the Clarets a two-goal advantage.
In the last minute, a Wrens player slipped free from her marker and latched onto a corner to head home from six yards, but the Clarets protected their one-goal advantage to the final whistle.
Meanwhile, Burnley FC Ladies’ Development Team maintained their 100% record with a 6-0 win over St Josephs in the LFA Ladies’ League.
The scorers were Charlotte Coates (2), Natalie Bell, Sophie Greenwood, Simone Keating and Hannah Skinner.
Proving that the club welcome players of all ages, the side included a 16-year-old and 51-year-old former national league player Fiona Head in her first game in 15 years!
Young Katie Long received a commendation from manager Aidy Lamb for an excellent performance.
Elsewhere, many of the club’s teams were in cup action. The Under 12s returned to winning ways, with a hard-fought 4 - 3 win against Preston North End in the first round of the League Cup.
Grace Mills scored two in a player of the match performance.
The Under 13s had a more comfortable 6-1 League Cup win against Wigan, with Millie Schofield scoring her first hat-trick of the season.
The Under 16s put in an outstanding effort to win their home Cup tie against Academy Juniors.
With the Clarets holding a comfortable 2-0 lead, Academy scored two goals in the last 10 minutes to take the tie to extra time.
A determined extra time performance saw the Clarets add three more goals to make the final score 5-2.
In an excellent overall team performance, there were goals from Ciara Hindley, Ria Montgomery (2) and Jessica Tattersall (2).
The Under 15s cup tie also went to extra time, with the home side disappointed to lose out to a strong Manchester City side.
The Under 10s and Under 11s teams both had a bye in the first round of the cup, leaving them free to provide the half-time entertainment for Burnley’s game against Everton on Sunday.
The girls would like to thank Burnley for giving them the opportunity to play at Turf Moor.