Lacklustre Lady Clarets’ lose out in local derby

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A lacklustre performance cost Burnley Ladies their place in the Lancashire Cup when they suffered a 3-1 reverse against local rivals Blackburn Community.

Due to recent inclement weather, the match was played on an artificial surface, with a swirling wind and lashing rain militating against flowing football.

Throughout the first half, clear goalscoring opportunities were rare.

In the 15th minute, an interchange of passes between Liz Hamer and Jo Holt created a half-chance for Becky Hayton, but the striker’s shot was blocked.

Five minutes later, Hayton latched on to a long ball from Holt and lifted it over the keeper, only for her effort to be cleared off the line by a Blackburn defender.

Blackburn opened the scoring on the half-hour when their centre forward outmuscled two defenders to shoot low past Karly Bland in the Burnley goal.

The lady Clarets enjoyed their best spell in the early stages of the second half.

Superb wing play from Natalie Bell almost set up Hayton, but she was thwarted by a timely interception.

Moments later, Hayton had another chance, but her goal-bound shot was tipped around the post by the athletic Blackburn keeper.

The same stopper frustrated Justine Wallace, diving full length to keep out the midfielder’s curling strike.

Against the run of play, Blackburn doubled their lead in the 65th minute, aided by a wicked deflection.

Burnley strived to get back in the game, Holly Hunter and Becca Sidley exchanging passes along the right flank before finding Jo Rohman in the penalty area, but the midfielder was crowded out before she could get her shot away.

Hayton succeeded in pulling a goal back in the dying moments of the game, taking advantage of a defensive lapse, but Blackburn immediately restored their two-goal advantage with a long-range effort that struck the underside of the bar before crossing the line.

Burnley will hope to rediscover their fluency when they return to league action against City of Manchester on Sunday at Barden Sports Club, kick-off 2 p.m.