Lady Clarets made to pay for profligacy

The Lady Clarets missed out on a place in the last eight of the North West Women’s Regional Cup as they lost 2-0 to Blackpool Ladies at Wyre Villa.

Simone Keaton and Bryony Bancroft (inset)
Simone Keaton and Bryony Bancroft (inset)

Blackpool who made the first assault on the Clarets’ goal with a high cross that was tipped away from the Tangerine strike force by stand-in keeper Taylor Gregson.

The Clarets made early inroads on the Blackpool goal, but tight defending made it difficult to get shots off.

At the other end a 25-yard Blackpool free kick was coolly caught by Gregson.

The Clarets applied further pressure but struggled to find the decisive pass in the final third.

Meanwhile, Blackpool seemed to relish catching the Clarets on the break.

On one occasion a clearance ricocheted off the Blackpool striker and back against Gregson’s arm but the referee advised no intent so Gregson was not penalised.

Clarets defender Emily Wilkinson pressed forward and threaded a pass through to Jane Sexton who had only the keeper to beat, but the ball bounced awkwardly and her shot had insufficient power.

Burnley skipper Jo Holt launched a high ball from long range, which bounced over the keeper’s head and into the net, however the referee adjudged a foul on the keeper.

In end-to-end play Blackpool almost converted from a goal mouth scramble but Wilkinson cleared off the line.

The Clarets responded by attacking down the left, and Wilkinson linked up with Jo Rohman to feed Justine Wallace, who shot from a sharp angle, the ball bouncing off the keeper onto the upright and then to safety.

Another Clarets attack down the right flank by Sexton provided a through ball to striker Becky Hayton who, uncharacteristically, stroked the ball wide of the far post.

The second half continued in the same vein, the Clarets mounting repeated attacks but Blackpool defending well and breaking at pace.

An attempt by Hayton and a header from Leah Hart forced two reflex saves, and the Clarets were to rue their missed chances as Blackpool converted from one of their counter attacks.

Manager Phil Leedham introduced Development Team wingers Simone Keaton, making her debut, and Bryony Bancroft, to add pace.

But as Burnley pushed forward for an equaliser, Blackpool took advantage and scored a second goal.

On Sunday, the Lady Clarets play title favourites, Blackpool Wren Rovers, at Barden Athletic, kick-off 2 p.m.