FA Women’s National League – Premier North Division

Burnley FC Women v Stoke City FC Women

Arbories Memorial Sports Ground – Ruby Civil Arena

Sunday 25th October 2020

Burnley FC Women were on the back foot in much of the first half, but looked to have weathered the storm, just before conceding in the 45th minute to the league’s top scorer, Lizzy Steele. Nicola Shirtcliffe levelled the score five minutes into the second half, but the Clarets could not profit further in a well contested final half.

In the first ten minutes of the game, Burnley FC Women had to defend a series of strong attacks from visitors Stoke City FC Women. Clarets Keeper Lauren Bracewell dived out to try and intercept a pass across her and Cara Bickett blocked a shot on goal. Later, a cross dropped and ran free in the box where Stoke strikers tried to seize upon the chance to convert but were met with frantic yet effective defending by the Clarets.

A further attack caused similar mayhem around the home goal mouth before the Clarets pushed forward to win a couple of corners, the second from an under-pressure defender who headed just above her own cross bar.

Chloe Mapp had a chance to open her scoring account for the Clarets when the ball was received in a good position in front of goal but shot wide.

The Clarets got a foothold in the game and looked to have better chances as the half progressed but Stoke opened the scoring in added time when Steele cut inside the Clarets defence and shot past Bracewell. 0-1.

The Clarets, who played with the advantage of the slope in the second period, responded quickly. The first crosses into the area were well defended by the visitors but within five minutes a powerful cross from defender Shirtcliffe looped over the leaping goalkeeper Kosinska and dipped under the crossbar. 1-1.

Another chance on goal was thwarted by a wall of Stoke defenders when a corner kick fell free in the goal mouth and the Clarets tried to force a shot through.

An injury to the Stoke goalkeeper Kosinska led to substitution following treatment, after a one on one challenge with Katie Thomas.

Thomas soon had another chance on goal where she struck the side netting and later was shouldered off by a strong defender as she tried to cut through on goal.

A late chance to take the lead by the Clarets from a free kick was hit just too high.

In action packed added time, Stoke had a free kick that Bracewell tipped over before another free kick resulted in a close range shot that Bracewell caught cleanly.

Thomas had a final chance when she rushed through on goal but could not get a shot off. At the final whistle, both teams had to settle for a share of the points.

On Sunday, Burnley FC Women travel away to face Derby County Women at Mickleover Sports Club.

Final Score: Burnley FC Women 1 – 1 Stoke City FC Women.