Morecambe Ladies FC V Burnley FC Women
FA WNL Division 1 North
Slyne with Hest FC Ground, Lancaster
7th April 2019
When a team battling for league survival play the team trying to seal league promotion the result cannot be assumed by their respective league positions. Morecambe Ladies have been gaining better results of late and they made a heroic effort in the game, but the final twist of fate was in favour of Burnley FC Women who took all three points in nervy 3-2 win.
The goals by Sarah Greenhalgh (2) and another by Lizzy Hamer restores the Clarets nine-point advantage over title chasers Chester-le-Street Town. Both teams have three games remaining, so a single point is enough to seal a remarkable back to back promotion for the Clarets and lift them into the FA Women’s National League North.
The Clarets tried to command the game in the early stages and won two corners that Morecambe defended with authority. A shot over the bar by Lynette Craig added to the hope of being able to dominate the game. Morecambe had other ideas as they quickly mounted an attack through an interception, and then a superb 22 yard shot by Jess Tait dipped under the Clarets bar as keeper Lauren Bracewell leaped backward but was unable to save. 1-0.
Morecambe wanted to increase their lead and soon tested Bracewell again with a high cross that she collected confidently.
Bracewell made a long kick and set Greenhalgh off towards goal where she shot slightly high and then Morecambe proved their desire for survival as they attacked down the right forcing Bracewell into a blocking save and later down the middle with Melissa Brown forcing another blocking save. Morecambe continued to exert pressure and the Clarets were penned in for a time.
The Clarets responded as Lynette Craig attacked on the left, but her effort was forced out for a corner that Emily Wilkinson headed narrowly over.
Further Clarets attacks saw Leah Embley shoot over and Greenhalgh shoot from an angle forcing the Morecambe keeper in to a quality diving save. Both Danni Cooper and Leah Embley tried their luck with shots but then a Lizzy Hamer shot allowed Greenhalgh to slide in to intercept and push the ball into the net to level the game up. 1-1
The Clarets had further chances when Greenhalgh attacked at goal and Sammy Fleck headed from a corner to see her goal bound effort hacked over by a defender.
Morecambe finally got back into the game late in the half. A corner dropped dangerously at the Clarets far post and was passed out for a return cross on goal. The ball hit the closed in arm of Embley and the referee waved play on against the shouts of the home team.
In the second half the game moved from side to side without any team causing trouble for the other until 10 minutes had passed and then chances for both teams were aplenty.
Greenhalgh skipped though on goal. She shot quickly with only the keeper to beat but watched as the ball elevated above the bar and then an interception by Justine Wallace on half way and her nicely controlled pass through the Morecambe defence set Greenhalgh on another run at goal. She shot from a wide angle forcing the keeper into a tremendous diving save. The ball ran loose in front of goal where Cooper pounced on a run in, but she was met by an equally determined defender who got the best touch and the ball was directed clear.
Then Morecambe took the initiative by first winning a corner and striker Yasmin Swarbrick shooting from the edge of the area forcing Bracewell into a super diving save at her left post. Another corner followed, and Bracewell managed to tip the ball away from the top corner after a goal mouth melee.
The Clarets had better fortune when back on the offensive. A back-heel pass from Greenhalgh to Hamer allowed her to weave through the home team’s defence and float a well-directed shot into the top corner from the edge of the 18-yard box. 2-1
The Clarets lead in the game was short lived as Morecambe mounted an attack from the restart. Burnley defender Sammy Fleck challenged Swarbrick as she ran at the Clarets goal. An awkward bounce of the ball hit her out stretched arm and the referee awarded a penalty that was neatly despatched by Swarbrick.
The game was back level but both teams were hungry for the full three points. Bracewell saved well again at her left-hand post, but the referee spotted an infringement and the Clarets were awarded a free kick. The Clarets pushed upfield and pressured the home team. Defender Vikki Eastwood ran to the byeline and crossed to the far post where Greenhalgh headed in. 3-2
Morecambe looked dejected to be behind and the Clarets could have increased the score as the game reached the final stages. Embley ran at the home sides goal and appeared to be tripped in the box. The referee was close by and waved the game on but soon Embley was on the ball again and cut in towards goal where her shot forced another good save from the home keeper.
A number of half chances for both teams went without incident before the referee blew the full-time whistle.
Next week Burnley FC Women will hope to seal their promotion bid when they play Crewe Alexandra LFC away at the Cumberland Arena, Crewe, CW1 2BD. Kick-off is 2pm.