Burnley FC Women v Bolton Wanderers LFC

FA WNL Division 1 North

The Arbories Memorial Sports Ground, Padiham FC

Wednesday 13th February 2019

On Wednesday evening a late goal by a purposeful Bolton Wanderers Ladies team ended Burnley FC Women’s ten game winning league run.

Bolton avenged an early in the season 1-0 home loss against the Clarets and their win helps to keep them in contention for the FA WNL North Division One league title.

The two sides have met may times during the previous 10 seasons as both clubs attempted to breakout of the North West Women’s League. Bolton successfully gained promotion in season 2016/17 and the Clarets followed last season. Great rivalry exists between the two sides and this added to the anticipation of this tasty encounter ahead.

The Clarets playing with the advantage of the slope tried to pressurize the Bolton goal from the outset but were met with determined defending and stiff challenges. Bolton made the best early chance on goal as their winger Saff Newhouse cut into a central position then shot wide from the edge of the area.

The Clarets were being frustrated on their forward moves. Leah Embley won corners but the crosses on goal were well defended by the visitors. Embley continued to put the effort in and received a long ball from Jo Holt. She twisted around a couple of markers and shot from the edge of the box.

Bolton’s first test on the Clarets keeper Lauren Bracewell came from a right wing cross that she had to catch at chest height at her far post.

The game continued with a great intensity in the midfield where Sarah Greenhalgh won the ball and passed to Embley who was close to goal. The keeper slid out to disposes her in what turned out to be the best chance of the half.

Bolton gained the advantage of the slope in the second half and were soon making the Clarets defence work very hard. Central defender Sammy Fleck was in action at both ends and had a good chance to score when she received the ball from a corner and turned to shoot but her powerful shot passed wide of the post.

Bolton were soon counter attacking and it was Newhouse who caused the problems for the Clarets. She sprinted on to a ball played through but was met by Fleck who blocked her view of goal and forced her to shoot wide.

A free kick was launched into the Clarets box and a Bolton header had Bracewell making a routine save above her head. Good chances were few and far between until the latter stages of the half when the game opened up.

A cross into the Clarets box was headed almost unopposed but it drifted wide, then in response a smart forward move saw the Clarets ping the ball around in front of the Bolton goal before Greenhalgh cut through but was denied by a fast closing keeper.

The end to end play continued. Clarets captain Jo Holt cleared a dangerous pass into the box and Bracewell was called into action to save a shot from distance and then an Emily Wilkinson cross forced a good save from the Bolton keeper.

Bolton delivered the killer blow with less than four minutes of normal time remaining. Bolton’s striker Kelly Halligan received the ball on a forward run and managed to beat both Clarets central defenders to shoot past Bracewell.

Bolton defended hard as the Clarets tried to level up. A free kick on 20 yards ended with a Lizzy Hamer shot powering over the bar and a header from a cross was easily collected by the Bolton keeper. The score remained 1-0 at the final whistle.

Burnley FC Women are next in action away to Norton & Stockton Ancients on Sunday 24th February.

Photos credited to Keith Hamer.