Burnley FC Women v Hindley Juniors Women

Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup, Preliminary Round

Padiham FC’s Arbories Ground (Ruby Civil Arena)

Sunday 15th September 2019

The Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup draw always throws up some cruel challenges and this year was no exception.

There is no seeding or grading of the teams that enter and so they all go into the hat for the preliminary round draw. In this case the majority of teams got a Bye and will not compete until the next stage.

Hindley Women’s team have only competed for a couple of seasons and have worked their way through the Lancashire FA Women’s Leagues to the Premier division which is at step 7 of the women’s football pyramid. Burnley FC Women now compete at step 3 and with home advantage should easily defeat the ambitious fledglings.

In the end a nine-goal win was plenty enough for the Clarets, but it was not all plain sailing. Hindley showed they could play some smart football at times and in the early stages were able to push the Clarets into a defensive position, and with well struck shots drifting marginally off target showed they meant business.

The Clarets first goal was struck home by young winger Sarah Agger on 8 minutes and soon a brace from Kelly Halligan followed. The Hindley keeper Laura Swindles would deny many attempts in a top-notch display. But further goals by Kerry Hope, Levi Rathburn, Sarah Greenhalgh and Evie Priestley, who completed her hattrick in the 88th minute, paved the way for the Clarets passage into the next round.

Next Sunday the Clarets Women travel up to Sunderland to compete in the FA Women’s National League Cup against Sunderland.

Sunderland are currently top of the FA Women’s National League North, three points ahead of the Clarets who sit in third place but have a game in hand. Sunderland’s start to the season has certainly been the strongest in the league so the cup game will give the clarets a good opportunity to assess the current league contenders.