Lady Clarets miss chance to close the gap

Evie Priestley, Sophie Valentine and Hannah Wood
Evie Priestley, Sophie Valentine and Hannah Wood

Despite taking the lead twice against newly promoted MSB Woolton, the Clarets slipped to their first defeat of the season in the league following a long trip down the M62.

The game started extremely positively with the Clarets netting within 30 seconds of the kick off.

Justine Wallace found the feet of Holly Hunter who combined with Lizzy Hamer to bamboozle the Woolton backline.

Hamer crossed into the back post to find Wallace unmarked to head home.

The Clarets continued to press and it only looked like a matter of time before they would extend their lead.

However, a mistake at the back led to a ball dropping in behind the back four, from which the lively number nine nipped in to put the ball past goalkeeper Leanne Smith in the Clarets net.

Burnley were not put off though and restored their lead moments later. Hamer was at her mesmerising best, constantly tormenting down the right hand side of the pitch. It was from one of these runs that a corner was won; Rebecca Hayton delivered an inviting cross for Steph Meeks to score a trade mark bullet header from the penalty spot.

At 2-1 the Clarets were in the ascendancy and zipping the ball around the pitch with ease. However, another mistake at the back gifted Woolton another equaliser.

The equaliser seemed to rock the Clarets and their free flowing football stopped. A combination of poor decision making and poorly executed passing saw the rest of the first half swing in Woolton’s favour.

To rub salt in the Clarets wounds, the Merseysiders’ striker scored again just before half time after out pacing the whole of the Clarets backline and sliding the ball past Smith.

The away side had the stuffing knocked out of them in the second half when the dangerous number nine added two goals to her tally in quick succession to make it 5-2.

The result prevented the Clarets from closing the gap on leaders Bolton Wanderers, who drew 3-3 with Stockport County in the North West Womens Regional League.

But a positive of the afternoon saw 17-year-old Georgia Payton and 18-year-old Ami Phelan handed their competitive debuts.

The Lady Clarets will look to get back to winning ways on Sunday when they host local rivals Blackburn Community at Barden with kick off at 2 p.m.

Elsewhere, the Lady Clarets second string continued their good run of results with a 5-0 win over local rivals St Josephs.

Clarets striker Hannah Wood was in great form and bagged a hat-trick with good service from midfield trio Andi Bagshaw, Lora Speak and Katy O’Hara.

In the second period St Josephs continued to test the Clarets defence but they couldn’t find a way past goalkeeper Sophie Valentine.

Star player Evie Priestly collected the feeds and created attacking moves on the visiting defence and added two goals which crowned a great overall performance for the Clarets.

The Clarets face Barrowford Celtic this weekend, hoping to avenge their defeat earlier in the season.