Burnley FC Women rewarded with home tie in third round of the FA Cup

Burnley FC Women celebrate striker Sarah Greenhalgh's goal
Burnley FC Women celebrate striker Sarah Greenhalgh's goal

Burnley FC Women will host Nottingham Forest in the third round of the Women’s FA Cup after coming from behind to beat Hull City Ladies 2-1 at the Ruby Civil Arena.

The tie is scheduled to take place on Sunday, January 5th, 2020, with the winners joining Fa Women’s Super League clubs in the pot for the fourth round draw.

“I said going in to it that Hull would prove a big test,” said manager Matt Bee.

“Their league form has not been the best, but they’ve got quality in their side and they showed that.

“There were a number of moments where they caused us problems, we didn’t deal well enough in transition, and we had to adapt to that better in the second half.

“They’ve probably gone away a little bit frustrated because I was certainly preparing for extra-time. I don’t think there was a clear better side on the day.

“It’s a little bit harsh on Hill because I thought they performed really well, but credit to us for getting the job done and seeing it through.”

Victory will give the Claret Women the opportunity to avenge their only league defeat of the campaign, with Forest running out 1-0 winners last month.

An impressive performance by Burnley FC Women’s goalkeeper Lauren Bracewell and two goals by Sarah Greenhalgh helped to seal the club’s progression in the competition.

Bee’s side entered the competition with the other 23 teams that make up the FA Women’s National League at the second round proper.

Their elevated league status allowed them to evade four qualifying rounds and the first round proper.

Hull City Ladies have had a difficult start to the league season but put on a commanding first half performance in this encounter.

An early chance from the home side presented itself when a nicely weighted cross from Dani Cooper was met in front of goal by Evie Priestley.

However, the teenage striker failed to make a true connection with the ball and her attempt ran wide.

A period of pressure saw the Tigresses pin the hosts back at the Ruby Civil Arena and, from a corner, Bracewell produced a stunning save to tip the ball over the crossbar after Hull City’s Helen Lynskey turned and shot from 10 yards out.

The Clarets conceded a goal after a back-pass was chased down by eager Hull strikers and Bracewell did not have space to clear. A deflection fell to striker Harley Skinner who shot into an open net.

In the latter stages of the half the Clarets got back into the game; a Sarah Agger pass through to Greenhalgh set her on a one-on-one with the keeper who made a brave block.

Hull replied and tested Bracewell at her near post where she dived to push the ball out for a corner, but the Clarets got a much-needed equaliser right on the stroke of half-time.

Kenedy Owen played a long pass through to Levi Rathburn, who ran at the keeper and forced a desperate clearance.

The ball fell nicely to Greenhalgh, who lifted an effort over the defence from 20 yards and into the open net.

The second half proved a much tighter affair. Priestley, a finalist in the Rising Star category at the Ladbrokes North West Football Awards, had an early chance snuffed out by a fast-moving defender while Hull’s Emily Smith struck the upright from distance.

The visitors pushed for the winner and Rachael Ackroyd beat the offside trap before her powerful drive was beaten away by Bracewell.

However, with the tie heading for extra-time, the Clarets had the final say as Owen flicked the ball on in midfield to release Greenhalgh and the leading scorer kept her composure to fire in the winner past goalkeeper Sharla Cone.

The two sides meet again on Sunday in the FA Women’s National League.

Meanwhile, Burnley FC Women Reserves have found life difficult in the FA Women’s National League Reserves Division, but have started to gain some good results lately.
After losing out to Hull City

LFC Reserves in the cup, their only defeat in their last four games, they avenged that loss at the hands of the Tigresses with a resounding 9-0 win.

Bethany Waring scored a hat-trick for the visitors and both Jade Foster and youngster Grace Turner scored a brace.

Ami Phelan got another as did Reanna Fennell, who was playing only her second senior game since turning 16.