Lady Clarets’ promotion ambitions suffer a blow

Vikki Eastwood has a chance for Burnley
Vikki Eastwood has a chance for Burnley
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Burnley’s North West Women’s Regional Football League  promotion aspirations took a hit as they were beaten by Wigan Athletic Ladies on the 3G at Cardinal Langley, Middleton.

A below-par first-half performance, with a missed penalty, was followed by further squandered chances in the second half against a sharp Latics team.

Sarah Greenhalgh, Georgia Payton and Linny Craig on the charge

Sarah Greenhalgh, Georgia Payton and Linny Craig on the charge

In the opening exchanges there was little to separate the two teams.

The opening goal came unexpectedly when a Wigan striker closed and intercepted a backline pass, and then struck the over Clarets keeper Lauren Bracewell as she retreated.

Leah Embley came close to a quick equaliser when Clarets player of the match Justine Wallace picked her out, but her shot was well held.

The Clarets broke again, and a Lynette Craig cross was marginally too high for the sprinting Sarah Greenhalgh at the near post.

Towards the end of the half, Wallace was pushed down in the box, and a penalty was awarded. Greenhalgh stepped up, but her attempt cleared the bar.

Embley also fed a couple of dangerous balls across the Wigan goalmouth, but no Clarets were able tap in.

In the final twist of the half, the Clarets were caught out when a clearance found speedy striker Louise Ainscow, who skipped clear and placed the ball wide of Bracewell for a 2-0 Wigan lead.

In the second period Craig had an early chance when she latched on to a clearing header but shot over from a sharp angle.

Georgia Payton entered the fray and helped open up the Wigan defence, shooting wide from a corner before, from a Greenhalgh pass, she tried to round the defence but was stopped by an heroic tackle.

Payton was set up again by Greenhalgh, and she fired past the keeper to pull a goal back.

Payton was then denied one on one, and from a corner, Vikki Eastwood had the ball at her feet at the back post but Wigan managed to block.

Craig’s cross was met by Greenhalgh, but the keeper collected.

Greenhalgh then hit the bar as she got on the end of a free kick, and Wallace’s follow up was wide of the mark.

In the closing minutes Wigan were again saved by the woodwork as they held on.

The Lady Clarets Reserves had a better day, drawing 2-2 at Accrington Stanley Community Ladies, with goals from youngster Jess Greenwood and Hannah Scott.

The first team are at Barden against Stockport County on Sunday, and the reserves entertain Accrington Stanley Community at Edge End in the league cup.