Burnley FC Women climb back into second with win over Sheffield
Burnley FC Women got back to league action with a 3-0 win against Sheffield FC Women and regained second position in the FA WNL Premier Division North.
A goal by Clarets youngster Leanne Prescott was neatly volleyed in during a difficult first half, but then second half goals by Sarah Greenhalgh and Evie Priestley brushed aside the slow start to the game.
Sheffield were quickest out of the blocks and pressured the Clarets with an early corner, forcing keeper Lauren Bracewell to block a shot with an out stretched arm, before another shot from 22 yards was collected confidently.
The Clarets made their first notable attack when Sarah Agger passed through to Prescott, who pushed forward, delivering a cross that was collected by the keeper.
The Clarets were back on the attack shortly afterwards when Sarah Greenhalgh slotted through to Agger out on the wing.
She got to the bye line and her cross was well placed, but a defender headed clear, only to see Prescott positioned to superbly volley into the net.
Sheffield regrouped, and strikers Hope Knight and Isabel Sullivan were repeatedly testing the Clarets defensive line where Cara Bickett, Mel Brown and Olivia Wilson were working tirelessly.
Greenhalgh also proved a threat, but the visitors did have a chance, from a corner, Sullivan getting in a shot from close range, which Bracewell first blocked, before diving to smother the ball.
In the second period underway, playing down the slope, the Clarets started to control the game.
Greenhalgh shot wide as she drove in on the keeper from a Levi Rathburn pass, before Agger looped a long pass forward for Greenhalgh, who outpaced the defensive line and flipped the ball over the keeper to make it 2-0.
A final goal for the Clarets resulted from a free kick taken by Mel Brown. Her direct shot from 30 yards dipped and bounced in front of the keeper, who could not hold the ball, and Greenhalgh selflessly passed the rebound to Evie Priestley, who finished well.
On Sunday, Burnley FC Women join the Women’s FA Cup at the second round proper, against Hull City Ladies, with kick-off at the earlier time of 1 p.m. at Padiham’s Ruby Civil Arena. Admission is £3 adults and £1 under 16s.