Burnley FC Women v Sheffield FC Women
FA WNL Premier Division North
Padiham FC’s Arbories Ground (Ruby Civil Arena)
Sunday 24th November 2019
Burnley FC Women got back to league action with a 3-0 win against Sheffield FC Women and regained second position in the league.
A goal by Clarets youngster Leanne Prescott was neatly volleyed into goal during a difficult first half, but then second half goals by Sarah Greenhalgh and Evie Priestley brushed aside the slow start to the game.
From the outset Sheffield were quickest out of the blocks and pressured the Clarets with an early corner and an attack that closed in on Goalkeeper Lauren Bracewell’s right-hand post where she reacted and blocked a shot with an out stretched arm. Further pressure bared down on the Clarets goal when a shot from 22 yards was collected confidently by Bracewell.
The Clarets made their first notable attack when Sarah Agger passed through to Leanne Prescott who pushed forward delivering a cross that was collected by the keeper. The Clarets were back on the attack shortly afterwards when Sarah Greenhalgh linked up with the midfield and slotted through to Agger out on the wing. Her run to the bye line and cross was well placed but a defender headed a clearance only to see Prescott positioned to superbly volley into the net.
Sheffield regrouped and through excellent passing play amassed significant pressure on the Clarets goal. Sheffield strikers Hope Knight and Isabel Sullivan were repeatedly testing the Clarets defensive line where Cara Bickett, Mel Brown and Olivia Wilson were working tirelessly and bravely by throwing themselves into the path of the dangers.
Greenhalgh also proved a threat in the Sheffield box but the visitors did have a chance, from a corner Sullivan turned in a shot from close range where Bracewell first blocked and then dived to smother the ball.
With the second period underway and a potential advantage of playing down the slope the Clarets started to control the game. Greenhalgh shot wide as she drove in on the keeper from a Levi Rathburn pass through and now Sheffield were the ones forced into regular determined defending.
Agger saw an opportunity when she collected the ball on the edge of the Clarets defensive third and looped a long pass forward ahead of Greenhalgh who outpaced the defensive line and flipped the ball over the keeper as she tried to intercept. 2-0.
A final goal for the Clarets resulted from a free kick taken by Mel Brown. Her direct shot from 30 yards dipped and bounced in front of the keeper who could not hold the ball, Greenhalgh selflessly passed the rebound to Evie Priestley who shot into an opening. 3-0
The game played out with the Clarets having the better of the late chances, but the score remained 3-0 at the final whistle.
Burnley FC Women were proud to support the Rainbow Laces campaign at the game.
Next week Burnley FC Women join the Women’s FA Cup at the second round proper. This is the first season where the Clarets have not had to compete in the prequalifying rounds and is another indicator of how far the team has advanced in the women’s game.
The game at Padiham FC’s Ruby Civil Arena is against Hull City Ladies, with kick-off at the earlier time of 1pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £1 for under 16’s.