Pollard stars in Clarets win

GOALSCORERS: Justine Wallace, Katie Pollard and Becky Hayton.
GOALSCORERS: Justine Wallace, Katie Pollard and Becky Hayton.
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Burnley Ladies maintained their strong start to the season with a 4 – 2 triumph over Northwich Vixens.

After an uneventful first 20 minutes, the Clarets began to take control of the match, with Danielle Cooper and Charlotte Hartley combining well to dominate the midfield area.

Burnley gained the ascendancy around the half-hour mark with two goals in three minutes from striker Katie Pollard. For the opener, a pass from Jo Holt was intelligently flicked by Justine Wallace into the path of Hartley whose superb cross was neatly converted from six yards. Hartley also acted as provider for the second goal, Pollard rising above the Northwich defence to power a header into the corner of the net.

Burnley extended their lead to 3 – 0 shortly before the interval, a thunderous 25-yard drive from Wallace crashing in off the post.

But Northwich were not yet ready to concede defeat and showed remarkable character, scoring two fine goals in the dying minutes of the first half.

After the break, the lady Clarets created a series of chances but failed to extend their lead, the keeper denying both Cooper and Em Forest with diving saves. Hartley turned smartly on the edge of the penalty area but her deft chip narrowly cleared the bar. And Pollard almost bagged her third when she volleyed an out-swinging corner over the angle.

Burnley clinched the victory 15 minutes from time, when a penetrating run from Pollard caused havoc in the Northwich box, and Becky Hayton was in the right place to net from six yards.

Young Charlotte Coates almost extended the lead with a rising 25-yard drive that the athletic Northwich stopper managed to tip around the post.

So seven points from the opening four games represents an encouraging start to the season for the lady Clarets. This Sunday they will be in cup action when they travel to play Bury Ladies in a FA Cup qualifying round.