Wallace settles tight game
A single goal by Justine Wallace in the opening seconds of the second period gained all three points for Burnley FC Ladies in a hard-fought encounter at Barden Athletics Ground.
At the outset, the Lady Clarets tested the Stockport County defence. Star player Linny Craig, Rebecca Hayton and Sarah Greenhalgh all searched for a way through, but were rebuffed.
A move involving Holly Hunter and Hayton came closest, but Hunter met with the same fate as her team mates.
Stockport tried to catch the Clarets on the break, but quick thinking by debutant goalkeeper Leanne Ashton-Smith intercepted the long balls.
Stockport squandered the best chance when Sophie John slotted the ball through to Natalie Watson, but Smith intercepted on the edge of the box and forced the effort wide.
Soon after Lizzy Hamer drove down the left wing, twisting and turning, and her pinpoint cross was met on the volley by Wallace, who steered the ball towards goal but was denied by a brave acrobatic challenge from the Stockport right back, who managed to lift the ball to safety.
Interplay between Joanna Rohman, Craig and Greenhalgh combined to provided a chance for Hayton, whose left foot shot lifted above the bar.
As the second half began, Stockport launched an attack that was repelled by a header from the commanding Leah Hart to the feet of Greenhalgh. She quickly passed to Craig on the left, who then switched play through Emma White, and her pass forward to Wallace 18 yards out provided the striker with the opportunity to drive home.
Stockport continued to push forward to try and gain an equaliser and in the final 10 minutes were constantly pressing the Burnley back-line, but they managed to nullify any threats with an important block by Jo Holt from the opposing winger and great cover play from Hunter, as Ashton-Smith celebrated a clean sheet.
The Lady Clarets remain unbeaten in the league and currently sit second in the North West Women’s Regional League. On Sunday, they face a stern test at Wigan Athletic LFC.
The Lady Clarets’ Development team ran out 2-1 winners in their encounter with North Lancashire & District LFC at the Prairie Sports Village.
The visitors opened the scoring early on, after their striker latched on to a loose ball in an advanced position
But the Lady Clarets responded to the challenge with a commanding performance.
Youngster Leona Ellis had an outstanding display in her new centre half position, while Emilie Forrest, using her vast experience, commanded the midfield.
Clarets striker Hannah Wood equalised as she made a piercing run towards goal, beating two defenders, and this allowed her to slot past the keeper to level the score.
In the second period, a header from star player Ami Phelan sealed a deserved victory.
Burnley are now fifth in the Lancashire Fa Womens County League 1.
The Development team travel to face Penwortham Town Ladies on Sunday in a league fixture, kick-off 3 p.m., and host the same side next Sunday, November 13th, again at 3 p.m.