Leeds United Women FC v Burnley FC Women
FA WNL Cup – Determining Round
Thorp Arch – Leeds United Training Ground
Sunday 25th August 2019
Burnley FC Women proved their commitment and work rate with a 3-0 win against Leeds United Women at the Leeds United Training ground at Thorp Arch on Sunday in blistering temperatures. Leeds held off the Clarets until Sarah Greenhalgh scored in the 79th minute and Kelly Halligan sealed the win with two late goals
In the early stages Leeds used the space in their defensive third to play the ball around hoping the Clarets would dive forward and try to snatch possession so they could exploit openings in the midfield. The Clarets were careful not to indulge in the hot conditions and were content to settle into the game.
After 15 minutes Burnley captain Sarah Greenhalgh won possession and broke forward but her shot from distance did not trouble the Leeds goalkeeper greatly. Greenhalgh continued to pressurise with a pass through the defensive line to team mate Lizzy Hamer and forced a frantic interception by the Leeds goalkeeper Georgia Wattam.
As the half progressed the Clarets exerted further pressure on the Leeds goal with Greenhalgh having the best chance from a breakaway run that was snuffed out as defenders closed in and forced a tight shot that was again saved by Wattam. Greenhalgh turned provider for Hamer by neatly threading a ball for Hamer to run through and shot hard from the edge of the box forcing Wattam to leap backwards and acrobatically tip the ball over the bar.
Leeds tried to reverse the pressure early in the second period. The Clarets were having none of it and soon resumed the attacking initiative but were held level by tight defending. Mid-way into the half Leeds opened up their play to try and get forward again. One shot from 20 yards dropped just behind the Clarets cross bar and another 25-yard strike was similarly close.
The Clarets were now able to exploit the gaps in the final third better and with the introduction of substitutes Kelly Halligan and Olivia Greenhalgh who had performed faultlessly in previous games, the Clarets lifted the tempo. Sarah Greenhalgh forced a save from Wattam and a follow up from Levi Rathburn forced an impressive diving save at her right-hand post. Further action in front of the Leeds goal followed as Halligan passed across and Sarah Greenhalgh slid in causing a plume of rubber beads from the artificial pitch but could not contact the ball to score.
Wattam was again in action when she intercepted a Lizzy Hamer pass on 18 yards to deny Sarah Greenhalgh a scoring opportunity but then a breakthrough was made as Halligan set up Sarah Greenhalgh who evaded a defender and shot out of reach of Wattam to open the scoring.
The Clarets maintained the pressure, Olivia Greenhalgh had a shot saved and in the closing minutes Nicola Worthington carried the ball from her own six-yard box before passing through the midfield to Halligan who ran at goal and rounded Wattam to score, 2-0.
The final minutes saw end to end play as Leeds hoped to pull a goal back, but the Clarets took the advantage as both scorers Greenhalgh and Halligan combined passes before Halligan shot from 18 yards to score 3-0.
On Sunday Burnley FC Women are back in league action when they head down to the Midlands to face West Bromwich Albion Women at their Walsall Wood FC ground. Kick-off is 2pm.