Lady Clarets fail to climb in to top three with stalemate
The Lady Clarets' push for a top three finish in the North West Women's Regional League Premier Division was dealt a blow when they failed to make their dominance count against basement side Birkenhead.
The visitors were first on the attack in Merseyside with shots by Lizzy Hamer and Rebecca Hayton but neither tested the keeper to any significant degree.
Linny Craig completed a left-wing dash with a powerful shot but it was directed straight into the opposition keeper’s arms.
The opener came through sheer tenacity from Hamer after Hayton’s corner in to the six-yard box had been dealt with.
Hamer, who had originally won the set-piece, closed down the defender after the Birkenhead goalkeeper had thrown the ball out and powered the ball in to the roof of the net to make it 1-0.
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The away side then went agonisingly close to doubling their cushion moments later as a dipping shot by Justine Wallace rebounded back off the bar.
The pitch was badly cut up and heavy underfoot which wasn’t conducive to getting the ball down and playing.
The Clarets tried to push forward for a second goal but misplaced passes were gifting Birkenhead possession.
And the hosts capitalised. On familiar stomping ground at Leverhulme Sports Field, the Wirral outfit pushed forward and set their striker on a blistering run.
Calls for off side were rejected by the referee and the forward made no mistake, pushing the ball wide of the Clarets keeper Leanne Ashton-Smith to level the score.
As the game progressed it seemed certain that the Clarets would regain the lead. Player of the match Emma White shot just over the bar as did Wallace moments later.
The latter also had a shot blocked by the keeper from the left and Craig hit another strong shot that was met by the keeper in the same way as the first.
In the closing stages of the half youngster Georgia Payton collected a loose ball on the edge of the box but she shot wide.
After the break, the visitors probed in a bid to restore their advantage and they went close when Payton beat her marker and launched a cross from the byeline that was headed at close range by Wallace but the keeper collected the ball at her second attempt.
The Clarets were constantly attacking and the woodwork came to Birkenhead’s rescue on a couple of occasions.
The first instance saw Jo Rohman and Payton combine to tee up Wallace but the resulting effort clipped the outside of the upright.
Then, in another move, Priestley sprinted into the box and shot but the ball defected off a defender and on to the bar.
The Clarets had countless chances in the remainder of the half but resolute defending by a determined Birkenhead back line ensured the game ended without further score.
On Sunday the the Lady Clarets entertain Manchester Stingers in the League Cup at Barden Athletics Ground with kick off at 2 p.m.
Meanwhile the Lady Clarets SDS team earned a 1-0 win over Southport Shoreline LFC.
The winner came late on when captain Lora Speak, Justine Lorriman and Karina Rydzynska were all involved in a delightful build up, the latter whipped the ball in to the six-yard box where Hannah Wood curled the ball into the bottom corner to secure maximum points.