Burnley FC Women will fight it out with Sunderland AFC Ladies for chance to play Manchester United Women in FA Cup fourth round
Burnley FC Women’s manager Matt Bee was delighted with the way his players ‘dug in’ to find a way past Fylde Women FC in the second round of the Women’s FA Cup.
Nic Worthington’s penalty deep into extra-time settled the tie at Padiham FC’s Ruby Civil Arena and earned the Clarets a third round clash at home to Sunderland AFC Ladies on Sunday – where the winners will face Manchester United.
The game finished goalless after 90 minutes, but both sides had chances to seal their progression in the competition in normal time.
The visitors had a big let off early on when Evie Priestley’s effort came back off the post after she had been played through on goal by match-winner Worthington.
The Clarets defended their final third with stout determination and Lauren Bracewell had to get down to save a shot from Faye McCoy.
The Burnley goalkeeper should have been tested again moments later, but Emily Hollinshead fired over the bar.
Fylde continued to put pressure on the home side and Bethany Donoghue slid in front of goal but was inches short of the target.
With the advantage of the downward slope, the Clarets continued to press the visitors, though Katie Thomas could only win a corner following a one-on-one with Savannah Smith.
Burnley’s Lizzy Hamer and Dani Cooper tested the Fylde backline before Donoghue pushed forward shooting over the bar for the visitors.
After Bracewell superbly clawed the ball away to keep the score level, play switched to the other end where both Worthington and Hamer failed to find the target.
The hosts continued to press for the opening goal and goalkeeper Smith had to be at her best to deny Thomas, who had combined with Priestley.
In the final 10 minutes Burnley had to defend deep to snuff out an effort by the visitors but quickly reverted to attack where Thomas was again thwarted from close range.
With 90 minutes played, Fylde had a chance in the starting minutes of extra time, when Faye McCoy’s header hit the bar.
The visitors then won a free-kick when Melissa Brown chased a striker back, but the shot went wide.
And McCoy, who had earlier hit the woodwork, wasn’t far off again when her effort from distance travelled past the upright.
Clarets substitute Chloe Mapp had two shots desperately blocked by the away side, but they didn’t have to wait too much longer for the decisive moment.
Hamer delivered the ball into the box and Priestley drew the foul, leaving referee C. Hodgson with no other option but to point to the spot.
And Worthington kept her cool from 12 yards out to fire home the winner.
Bee said: “Today’s performance was built on a clear work ethic, desire and togetherness.
“Irrespective of having months off due to lockdown, these are the things that I expect the team to have, these important qualities.
“I’m happy that the players executed the game plan to the letter and everyone played their part.
“I was pleased with our preparation this week, I knew that the players knew how they had to operate to win the game. The detailed preparation has given them the platform to go and execute a top performance today.
“Everyone of them dug in.
“It was exactly the type of game I expected, Fylde have a lot of quality in their team but I thought we nullified their threats well.
“We have to work hard this week to get ready for Sunday.
“Sunderland will be a tough game so it will be a challenge.
“However, we’re ready to work hard again this week to go again on Sunday and hopefully put in another positive performance in the competition.”
Burnley’s tie against Sunderland will take place at Padiham FC on Sunday, behind closed doors. The winner faces Manchester United Women of the Women’s Super League in the fourth round.