Burnley FC Women slip to first defeat at home to Nottingham Forest

Action from Burnley FC Women's first defeat of the campaign
Action from Burnley FC Women's first defeat of the campaign

Burnley FC Women slipped to their first FA WNL Premier Division North defeat of the season on Sunday against Nottingham Forest Women.

The Clarets went down to a solitary goal, scored by the league’s top scorer Precious Hamilton.

Burnley FC Women on the attack at the Ruby Civil Arena

Burnley FC Women on the attack at the Ruby Civil Arena

Burnley failed to convert a number of chances in the first half, before Nottingham Forest came out stronger in the second and made good use of a chance when it arose midway through the half.

An energetic start to the game saw Evie Priestley and Lizzy Hamer attacking the Forest goal, and a ball played across the goal by Kerry Hope travelled through without interception.

Forest responded and won a corner, which was cleared awkwardly and out for another corner, but the Clarets counter attacked through Leanne Prescott, and her low cross also passed through the Forest defence, where their keeper dived and tipped the ball out to safety.

The Clarets had their best chance from a Priestley interception, and quick play through Prescott and Hamer to Levi Rathburn, who, in front of the keeper, did not get enough power in her shot and the effort was saved.

Forest were very quick to close down and challenge the Clarets defence, trying to force mistakes when they played out from the back.

The Clarets responded well under the pressure and shrugged off the advances.

Forest were frustrated in their attacking moves as the Clarets defence held strong, forcing them to revert to shoot from distance.

Forest had their best chance when they got inside the box and Hamilton tried to tee up another striker with a pass to the centre, where Emily Wilkinson made a well-timed sliding tackle to see off the threat.

Later, a shot from outside the box called Lauren Bracewell into action to make a diving save.

Late on, Priestley made her presence known as she weaved through Forest defenders, shooting with only the keeper to beat, but it was directed marginally wide.

The second half started with Forest pressing forward, and a striker looped the ball over the bar from close range inside a well-defended Clarets box.

Later, Forest won a series of corners that were well-defended, and, in frustration, Bracewell was bundled over by an over enthusiastic striker as Forest tried to find a way through.

During the half, the Clarets were by no means penned in, but were not penetrating deep enough on their forward moves.

Forest were also confined to half chances as the Clarets defended well, though Bracewell had to slide in to smoother a forward ball in the middle of the half.

It was a half chance that undid the Clarets as Hamilton intercepted a cross with an outstretched boot ahead of Bracewell’s interception, and the ball continued into the net.

In the final 10 minutes, the Clarets lifted the game, but it wasn’t enough, with the only good chance coming from a Rathburn cross that the keeper intercepted by diving and tipping away.

On Sunday, Burnley FC Women are in action in the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup against Blackburn Community LFC at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Lammack Road, Blackburn.

Kick-off is 2 p.m., with the game falling on a designated Women’s Football Weekend, a week after England Women’s record crowd at Wembley.