FA Women’s National League – Premier North Division
Loughborough Foxes v Burnley FC Women
Loughborough University Stadium
Sunday 18th October 2020
Lizzy Hamer had a busy afternoon, as she was instrumental in all three goals which lifted Burnley FC Women to a 3-1 victory at the Loughborough University Stadium, to secure the points against Loughborough Foxes.
The home team opened the scoring shortly before half time after both teams missed earlier chances. In the second half, a resurgent Burnley FC Women, led by Hamer, scored three times before enduring an anxious end to the game for retaining the goal margin.
With the game underway, the Foxes made a strong first attack before the Clarets responded. Evie Priestley worked her way through the home defence and got a shot that was blocked by home keeper, Mayfield.
The contest swung from end to end as each team hoped for a breakthrough. Bracewell had to step outwards to intercept a cross and a Clarets corner was cleared after it fell dangerously in the home sides box.
Burnley FC Women seemed to be getting a grip on the game as Thomas shot from range, then Hope and Shirtcliffe pressed on to build further attacks where Priestley headed just wide from one, and Thomas shot wide from another.
A slip up in the Clarets defence resulted in a free kick on the edge of the box. The Foxes’ Steel stepped up and shot into the Clarets wall before a follow up lifted above the bar. Soon after, Loughborough had another chance when a corner dropped dangerously, and a shot was blocked by Cooper that would have otherwise opened the scoring for the home side.
Thomas then had a chance for Burnley FC Women when she tried to round the keeper after Hamer slotted the ball through for her, but some stout defending pushed her off track.
The Foxes opened the scoring inside the last minutes of the half. A cross landed perilously in the box and the Clarets defence tried to clear the ball as it popped around from player to player. Cooper managed to force the ball over the line and see the home side ahead at the break. 1-0.
After some words of guidance from manager Matt Bee, and the introduction of transfer signing Chloe Mapp, Burnley FC Women got the second half underway. Determined attacking soon produced a goal when Hamer shot from 20 yards. 1-1.
The Clarets gained the lead when Hamer passed through to Thomas who shot hard and wide of Mayfield. 1-2.
As the Clarets continued to pressure, Hamer struck a 25-yard effort that beat Mayfield to raise the score. 1-3.
The Clarets came close and could have increased their advantage on several occasions; two free kicks landed on the roof of the net, Priestley shot over from close range, Thomas had a shot caught up high by Mayfield and Worthington’s shot on goal was blocked.
Similarly, the Foxes were unlucky not to convert a second goal when a loose ball was successfully scrambled clear from Bracewell’s goal mouth. In injury time, Loughborough were controversially awarded a free kick on the edge of the Clarets box, that was also cleared.
Burnley FC Women remain in a mid-table position but have a game in hand over the leading teams. A good run of results is needed to re-establish the challenge for the top places and Stoke City Women will present a new challenge in the next outing on Sunday at Padiham.
Final Score: Loughborough Foxes 1 – 3 Burnley FC Women