Lady Clarets long unbeaten run comes to an end

Sarah Greenhalgh tries her luck for the Lady Clarets
Sarah Greenhalgh tries her luck for the Lady Clarets

The Lady Clarets suffered their first defeat since February and an early blow to their league campaign when losing by a single goal against Tranmere Rovers LFC.

The visitors had netted 17 goals in their first two games in the North West Women’s Regional League Premier Division ahead of their visit to Ellesmere Port Sports Village but they were unable to add to that.

It turned out to be a frustrating afternoon as the woodwork came to the home side’s rescue on four occasions.

The Clarets should have taken the lead when a Lizzy Hamer through ball set Sarah Greenhalgh free on goal but the keeper managed to block her shot with an outstretched leg. Hamer soon found herself in front of goal, her shot being well saved at the near post.

The Lady Clarets pressed forward again and Hamer had another shot saved before Leah Embley and Vikki Eastwood were both denied by the woodwork.

Many attempts from the Clarets came to nothing and notably player of the match Greenhalgh was foiled on another one-on-one with the keeper as she managed to smother the ball and simultaneously up end her.

However, the away side conceded against the run of play and it came in controversial circumstances.

Two clear off-side moves were waved away by the referee and the Tranmere striker took advantage and toe poked the ball into the net.

In the closing minutes of the half Greenhalgh weaved through the host’s defence on two occasions, first shooting over and later smashing the ball against the underside of the crossbar.

In the second period the Clarets pinned Tranmere back to the point that they only had one attempt on goal where Gregson had to intercept and clear from the Tranmere striker.

The Clarets continued to be frustrated, Lynette Craig shot over the keeper to see her attempt dip onto the underside of the bar.

Tranmere defended the 18-yard box fiercely so the Clarets resorted to striking from just outside but too many shots were high of the bar or wide of the uprights.

Tranmere resorted to time management techniques to run the clock down and some theatrics aimed at swaying the referee to add further frustration.

A final chance came from one of the many Clarets corners, Charlotte Banner jumped up high but her header was cleared off the line by a defender.

The Lady Clarets play Wigan Athletic LFC next at Barden Athletics Ground in the SSE Women’s FA Cup qualifying round with kick-off at 2 p.m.