Tranmere Ladies 5, Burnley Ladies 0
A BURNLEY Ladies side missing several crucial players suffered their first defeat of the season when they crashed to a 5-0 defeat at Tranmere.
Denied the talents of Stephanie Meeks due to suspension, and with talismanic skipper Jo Holt nursing a long-term injury on the substitutes’ bench, Burnley were always going to struggle against a strong and athletic Tranmere outfit.
If these setbacks were not enough of a handicap, the mobility of influential play-maker Jo Rohman was severely restricted by injury throughout the 90 minutes.
Given these limitations, it was vital that Burnley did not concede early, but indecision in defence gifted Tranmere an opener after only two minutes.
Although rarely finding their usual passing fluency, for the remainder of the half, the lady Clarets competed bravely and denied the Merseyside team another goal, due mainly to the sterling defending of Leah Morrisey (pictured) and Claire Pearson in the heart of the Burnley backline. On the occasion when a Tranmere forward had a clear sight of goal, keeper Emily Rogers produced a superb point-blank save.
Burnley did create chances of their own. A shot from the edge of the box by Em Forrest was well saved by the Tranmere stopper. And a jinking run down the right wing by striker Laura Hesketh culminated in a fierce drive that the keeper got down smartly to block. Forrest slipped a pass through the centre of the Tranmere defence for Hesketh, whose strike clipped the top of the bar.
In the second half Burnley were playing against a very strong wind and were pegged back in their own half for long periods. Following one attack the Tranmere centre-forward rounded the keeper, but the impressive Becky Sidley managed to get back in time to clear.
Unrelenting Tranmere pressure finally reaped rewards with four more goals in the space of 20 second-half minutes to effectively end the game as a contest.
Burnley continued to play with pride though, working tirelessly to deny Tranmere any further goals.
Hayley Newham sprayed passes around from the central midfield area, as well as chasing back to put in some crucial tackles.
Similarly, Vicky Smith got her body in the way of some goal-bound Tranmere efforts as well as showing composure in the left-back position.
Burnley did have some half-chances in the later stages of the game.
Hesketh, Holt and Newham all dispatching shots on target, but the agile Tranmere keeper denied Burnley a consolation goal.
BURNLEY: Rogers, Sidley, Smith (A), Pearson, Morrisey, Smith (V), Rohman, Newham, Berwick, Forrest and Hesketh. Sub: Holt.