Lady Clarets hold on to win thriller at Norton

Leah Embley
Leah Embley
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After building up a four-goal first half lead, FA WNL Division 1 North leaders Burnley FC Women nearly succumbed to a resurgent Norton and Stockton Ancients, only to emerge 5-4 winners

The Clarets opened the scoring as Vikki Eastwood pushed forward and crossed in front of goal, where Sarah Greenhalgh headed home at the near post.

The Clarets doubled the lead with just five minutes played when Greenhalgh went on a twisting run inside the box and a defender tripped her in front of the referee.

A penalty was awarded and was quickly despatched by Lynette Craig.

Greenhalgh was proving difficult to contain for the home defence.

An interception by Leah Embley and her nicely weighted pass set Greenhalgh heading towards goal, where she flicked wide of the keeper to extend the Clarets’ lead to 3-0.

In the latter stages of the half the Clarets looked to add further goals, and Eastwood struck a left foot shot that deceived both her marker and the goalkeeper to give the Clarets a very healthy 4-0 lead.

The second period started well for the Clarets. However, thoughts of extending their lead were dealt a blow nine minutes in when a routine back pass to Lauren Bracewell somehow ended up in the back of her own net.

Three minutes later the Clarets conceded a corner, and Bianca Owens cut in at the far post to shoot home.

The lead was cut to a single goal when a ball lofted into the box was met by Owens, who headed into the net.

The breakthrough came from a free kick that Craig drove in to the box. The ball ran free and Danni Cooper was on hand to stroke it home and open up a two-goal lead.

Norton made it 5-4 from a penalty deep in injury time, Owens stepped up and completed her hat-trick.