West Bromwich Albion FC Women v Burnley FC Women
FA WNL Premier Division North
Walsall Wood FC
Sunday 1st September 2019
A spirited second half fightback by Burnley FC Women resulted in a 3-2 victory against a physical West Bromwich Albion Women.
Goals by Levi Rathburn, Kelly Halligan and player of the match Sarah Greenhalgh countered the home sides strikes to give the Clarets two victories out of two games in the FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division.
Early forward pressure from the Clarets Women quickly turned to defensive intimidation as Dani Cooper cleared off the goal line and a follow up shot was wide of the target in frantic early play.
As the half progressed the Clarets responded well, a Kelly Halligan cross was met by the high rising Sarah Greenhalgh whose powerful header hit the post and a well struck shot by Kenedy Owen was nicely collected from above by the home side’s keeper.
The game was progressing well for the Clarets, a forward ball to Greenhalgh saw her sprinting at goal where her shot was saved by the advancing keeper and a follow up shot was cleared by a retreating defender. Halligan also had a one on one with the keeper when she ran in on goal and the keeper blocked with an out stretched leg and defender Olivia Wilson shot wide whilst attacking from the corner kick.
But it was West Brom who opened the scoring when a cross ball landed at the feet of striker Jade Arber and she shot hard from the edge of the 18-yard box between two Clarets defenders, 1-0. The home sides lead was short lived as three minutes later Nicola Worthington passed out wide to Levi Rathburn who outpaced the West Brom defence and looped the ball over the keeper from a sharp angle to level the score.
A further three minutes of play resulted in a second goal for West Brom when a ball played into the Clarets box was intercepted again by Jade Arber who slide in to push it wide of keeper Bracewell.
After the break and with only seconds played West Brom won a corner when a long ball forward glanced off the head of a Burnley defender. Superb goalkeeping by Bracewell prevented them from increasing their advantage. The kick was intercepted outside the 18-yard box and drilled in forcing Bracewell to tip the ball onto the bar at her near post and then make an acrobatic second save from a header and push the ball over the bar at her far post.
In reply Greenhalgh received a through ball from Cooper and lobbed over the bar as the keeper advanced towards her. The Clarets got the levelling goal from another Worthington pass this time to Halligan who paced in at the keeper and slotted past retreating defenders. 2-2
Greenhalgh had another one on one thwarted by the West Brom keeper but finally struck the back of the net soon after defender Kerry Hope intercepted in midfield and passed through to Rathburn who then located Greenhalgh. On 22 yards Greenhalgh evaded two defenders and turned centrally to strike a looping shot that dipped under the crossbar.
With 30 minutes remaining more goals seemed inevitable and the contest was far from decided. West Brom challenged hard for every ball and the Clarets picked up some cuts and knocks along the way but defended well.
The Clarets had the best chances though late on. First when Greenhalgh cut through on goal and was again thwarted by the home keeper. West Brom could have pulled a goal back when a ball was floated in from the wing and their number 10 headed at goal but found Bracewell well positioned.
A shot close on goal by Rathburn was met by a reflex diving save, crowning a fine display by the home keeper who soon won a final battle with Greenhalgh as she advanced on goal and blocked a follow up by Lizzy Hamer. Final Score 3-2 to the Clarets.
Burnley FC Women continue their league campaign at home this Wednesday 4th September against Fylde Women FC at Padiham FC’s Ruby Civil Arena. Kick-off is 7:45pm.