Lady Clarets suffer heartbreak

Star performer: Charlotte Hartley
Star performer: Charlotte Hartley

Burnley Ladies suffered heartache in their North West Regional League Cup quarter-final against high-flying Crewe.

The Clarets conceded a controversial 90th-minute goal before eventually succumbing 2-1 after extra time.

The Cheshire outfit dominated the first half and the Burnley backline showed great resilience to keep them out, with Taylor Gregson particularly impressive.

In the 10th minute, Jade Brindle latched onto a weak back pass but her right-footed poke drifted wide. On the half hour, the same player turned well in the area and her powerful drive was turned into the side-netting by the Crewe keeper.

Against the run of play, the lady Clarets opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Star performer Charlotte Hartley won a free kick on the edge of the box, and skipper Jo Holt rolled the ball to Jo Rohman, whose curling 20-yard left-footer beat the keeper.

After the interval, Burnley upped the tempo, and Katie Pollard sent an effort from Holt’s pinpoint corner wide.

A rising drive was expertly tipped over the bar by Burnley keeper Sophie Valentine, and it appeared as if Burnley’s heroic second half efforts would be rewarded. But disaster struck in the last minute when a corner was caught under the bar by Valentine, who was then bundled over the line by the Crewe forward. But the goal stood, sending the game into extra time.

And Crewe claimed the decisive goal when a long clearance sent a midfielder through on goal, to finish past Valentine.

The lady Clarets are next in action on Sunday against Chester City at Barden Sports and Athletic Club, kick-off 2 p.m.