Lady Clarets lose out on penalties

Goalscorer Grace Bullock in action against Penrith
Goalscorer Grace Bullock in action against Penrith
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A lacklustre start to their game at Penrith ultimately cost Burnley Ladies their place in the Women’s FA Cup, the Clarets losing 4-3 on penalties after the match was tied 3-3 at the end of extra time.

Penrith dominated the early exchanges, striking the woodwork twice.

Despite heroic defending by skipper Jo Holt, after 35 minutes the Cumbrian outfit had raced to a deserved 2-0 advantage.

In response to this early deficit, Burnley sprang into life and dictated the remainder of the game.

The artful Liz Hamer tormented the Penrith full backs on both flanks while Jo Rohman controlled the central midfield area.

The lady Clarets halved the deficit in the 40th minute, superb wing play from Hamer creating a chance for Grace Bullock, who rifled her shot low into the net from 15 yards.

More sublime trickery from Hamer invited Em Forrest to strike a thunderous drive that beat the Penrith keeper, only to crash against the bar.

Burnley maintained their ascendancy after the break and they levelled the scores in the 68th minute, intricate interplay between Holt and Hamer on the right wing allowing striker Becky Hayton to benefit from the subsequent goalmouth melee and fire home from 10 yards.

It was all Burnley now, a Forrest chip and a header from Taylor Gregson both being cleared off the Penrith goal line.

A rare counterattack by Penrith was thwarted by keeper Karly Bland racing from her line to clear the danger.

Burnley made it 3-2 in the 77th minute when a piercing run and shot from Rohman was palmed by the Penrith stopper only for Hamer to blast home the rebound.

But five minutes from the end of the game, a lapse of concentration in the Burnley defence allowed the resilient Cumbrians to make it 3-3.

In the dying moments of normal time, Burnley almost clinched it, but Bullock’s drive drew another excellent save from the Penrith keeper and Forrest’s rising shot narrowly cleared the bar.

Burnley remained in the ascendancy throughout the extra-time period, with Justine Wallace twice going close with left-foot efforts.

And so to the misery of the penalty shoot-out where, despite conversions from Hayton, Forrest and Rohman, Burnley suffered a 4-3 reverse.

On Sunday, Burnley Ladies return to league action when they visit Northwich Victoria in the North West Women’s Premier League.