Kayleigh is the hero as Burnley Girls stage stunning cup fightback

Penalty shootout: Burnley FC Girls Under 14s came back from 3-0 down to beat St Helens Town on penalties in the league cup
Penalty shootout: Burnley FC Girls Under 14s came back from 3-0 down to beat St Helens Town on penalties in the league cup
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Despite the poor weather, many of Burnley FC Girls and Ladies’ teams were back in action at the weekend following the mid-season break.

The senior team’s game at home to Preston North End Ladies was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch - on the back of last week’s postponement at Northwich Vixens.

But with the grass pitches struggling under the deluge of rain, home League Cup ties for three of Burnley’s teams were switched to the Prairie’s 3G pitch.

Battling against the heavy rain and high winds, as well asvery strong opposition, proved too much for both the Under 12s and Under 13s, who suffered heavy defeats to Hesketh Colts and AFC Manchester respectively.

It looked as though there would be three Saturday Cup defeats, as the Under 14s found themselves 2-0 down to St Helens Town at half-time.

The Clarets suffered a further blow within two minutes of the restart, as the visitors scored their third goal.

However, playing with the wind at their backs, the Under 14s showed the determined attitude that has served them well all season, and two goals within six minutes from player of the match Kendal Kelly gave the Clarets’ players and fans renewed hope.

Burnley continued to press forward, and their endeavour was rewarded when an Indi Hickey goal brought the Clarets level with 10 minutes remaining.

Despite continuing to create chances, Burnley were unable to grab the winner and the tie went to penalties.

Goalkeeper Kayleigh Lyall proved to be the Clarets’ hero, blocking one of the visitors’ spot kicks with a strong left-handed save, to give the Clarets a victory 5-4 on penalties and take them into the next round of the cup.

Elsewhere, the Under 16s were away in the League Cup at Blackburn CSC.

The Clarets started very positively, closing down and pressuring well, but, even playing with the wind, they could not make the breakthrough.

After 10 minutes Blackburn managed to find the first goal and quickly scored another.

The Clarets’ efforts were rewarded with a goal from Ria which lifted the team, however, Blackburn scored three more before half-time. 

The Clarets started the second half positively, and Ria scored her second within five minutes of the restart.

However, playing into the wind and with only 10 players took its toll, and Blackburn scored four more goals as the Clarets tired.