Stoke City FC Women v Burnley FC Women

FA WNL Premier Division North

Stoke City Training Ground Clayton Wood 3G

Sunday 1st March 2020

Burnley FC Women’s league standing took another knock following a 3-0 loss against Stoke City FC Women. A below par second half performance consolidated the result and now leaves them fifth in the table.

In the only other encounter between the teams, two years ago, the Clarets came out victors in a FA Cup penalty shoot-out second round tie after a battling performance. In this game, the Claret’s first league game since mid-January, they lacked determination in parts and will need to rekindle their early season league performances in future games if they are to achieve a firm top half finish.

Stoke moved the ball around well in the early stages but the Clarets also looked dangerous on the counterattack. Sarah Agger was caught offside as she attempted to break though the home team’s high defensive line.

An early long distance shot from Stokes City’s Faye McCoy landed harmlessly on the netting above Clarets Keeper Lauren Bracewell then moments later Agger had a better chance as she shot from within the Stoke box, but a defender slid in to deflect the ball over the bar.

The Clarets competed well as other chances were snuffed out by the home defence. Agger slotted through to Evie Priestley who was shouldered off the ball by the last defender allowing the keeper to collect and a shot from 18 yards by Sarah Agger hit the side netting.

Stoke responded and McCoy attempted another shot from distance that lifted over the bar above Bracewell. Both teams were defending well and cutting out most of the threats, but the keepers had to spring into action to intercept through balls.

The Clarets had a good chance when Priestley cut a ball back from the bye line with the Stoke defence split. Agger intercepted and shot above the keeper and looked to have scored but the shot bounced back out after hitting the underside of bar.

The Clarets were undone when a high ball into the box was left for Bracewell to collect but player of the match Natasha Baptiste popped up to head goal bound and open the scoring for Stoke City.

The Clarets had a good chance to equalise late on in the half when Lizzy Hamer shot at an angle and forced a good diving save from the home keeper.

The home side took the initiative in the second half and within minutes Baptiste had doubled her tally. She slipped wide of the Clarets defence and collected a loose ball that had travelled across the goal mouth, and then shot home. 2-0.

The Clarets remained under pressure and McCoy added a third goal when she struck a shot from 22 yards with the outside of her boot curling the ball inside Bracewell’s post. 3-0.

The Clarets rallied at the mid-way point of the half but had few noteworthy chances while Stoke were happy to cruise through the half, though substitute Abby Hunt came close for the home side when she broke through, but Bracewell had her shot covered.

On Sunday Burnley FC Women are in league action again at home to Loughborough Foxes.

Kick-off is 2pm on Sunday 8th March and the game will take place at Padiham FC’s Ruby Civil Arena, 16 Well Street, Padiham, Burnley, BB12 8LE. Entrance is £3 for adults and £1 for under 16s.

Photos credited to Keith Hamer Photography and Mike Worthington.