Derby 2, Burnley 3: Lightning strikes twice for Clarets

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Burnley Women will welcome Nottingham Forest in the quarter-finals of the FA Women’s National League Cup.

Jonathan Morgan’s side have so far seen off Hull City Ladies, Liverpool Feds Women and most recently Derby County Women to reach this stage.

Lightning struck twice for the Clarets as they won a five-goal thriller with the last kick of the game once again in Derbyshire to reach the last eight of the competition.

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Just as Dom Cooper had done in the Midlands on the opening day of the league campaign back in August, Evie Priestley was the hero this time around, scoring a last-gasp winner to secure success.

Burnley Women celebrate Evie Priestley late winnerBurnley Women celebrate Evie Priestley late winner
Burnley Women celebrate Evie Priestley late winner

That came after Morgan’s side had twice been pegged back following goals from Sarah Greenhalgh and Amaya Coleman-Evans, the latter scoring her first for the club.

Morgan made three changes to his side from their previous outing, a 1-0 win at Cheadle Town Stingers Women in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup. Captain Lauren Bracewell returned in goal with Ella Kinzett and Courtney Willis also in the 11 against the Ewe Rams.

After goalkeeper Lauren Bracewell had denied County winger Marli Rhodes-Andrews early on, the main action for some time in a first half of few chances was the enforced withdrawal of Willis 18 minutes in after a collision with the advertising hoardings.

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Spaniard Coleman-Evans was the one to replace her, and would later be heavily involved, but the next chance fell to Cooper, whose delivery at a corner deflected off the head of a defender and bounced inches wide.

But before the break, a moment of magic from Sarah Greenhalgh would fire the visitors in front. Picking up a ball on the edge of the area, the experienced attacker looped a curled strike over Sarah Morgan in the Ewe Rams goal, leaving the ‘keeper to watch on as the ball sailed into the back of her net.

For 20 or so minutes after the restart, chances continued at a premium for both sides with the only one of note a low drive which went narrowly wide for Derby from on-loan Manchester United forward Keira Barry.

Just after the hour-mark, Burnley then went close to a second via full back Ellie York, who powered an effort over the top of the bar before the hosts found a leveller through substitute Becky McGrother.

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Linking up well with fellow substitute Jess Camwell, McGrother took a through ball in her stride to send a fierce strike past Bracewell.

Reacting quickly though, the Claret Women’s own substitute Coleman-Evans was on hand to fire the visitors back ahead just three minutes later. When a cross was sent into the six-yard box, the Seville-born attacker beat Morgan to the ball and flicked it past the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.

Pressure came once more from Sam Griffiths’ hosts, and moments after McGrother had sent a strike over, Camwell levelled things up for a second time with 10 minutes to go.

The final action saw chances for both sides, none better than one from Amy Sims for Derby which struck the underside of the crossbar and brought a fine reaction save at the rebound from Bracewell to keep it out.

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Into time added on, and Cooper fired over at the other end before striker Priestley ensured history would repeat itself in the 96th minute. Taking down a long-ball which split the home side's backline, Priestley rounded the onrushing Morgan before calmly slotting into an empty net to send Burnley into the last eight of the League Cup.

Morgan’s side are back in action on Sunday as they host Norwich City in the Vitality Women’s FA Cup third round at Broadhurst Park (2pm kick-off).