FA Women’s National League – Premier North Division

Burnley FC Women v AFC Fylde Women 

Padiham FC’s Arbories Memorial Ground (Ruby Civil Arena) 

Wednesday 30th September 2020 

This mid-week encounter proved to be a difficult challenge for Burnley FC Women at Padiham’s Ruby Civil Arena. The visiting team, AFC Fylde Women, are known to have strength and Wednesday night proved their ability in all areas of the squad. 

The Clarets conceded a goal in the opening minutes of the game and, for a while, it seemed they would slip further behind. A change in formation by Manager Matt Bee aided a recovery which quickly resulted in a leveller by Kerry Hope. Further chances to take the lead were not driven home and a second goal remained elusive for Burnley FC Women. As the game progressed in the second period, the momentum moved back to the visitors. Under pressure, Clarets keeper Bracewell was unable to hold onto a high cross and the ball fell to AFC Fylde’s McCoy, who made no mistake in firing home, scoring both goals and securing three points for the visitors. 

AFC Fylde were sharp early on, attacking from the start. Burnley FC Women gained possession and pushed forward but when Fylde broke out, a cross delivered from the left was hit by McCoy who opened the scoring for Fylde. 0-1.  

Fylde continued as the stronger team, but determined defending held the visitors at bay. Manager Matt Bee reshaped the Clarets to demonstrate an immediate improvement. Thomas broke through on goal but her powerful shot was somehow blocked by the advancing keeper; a follow up shot was then cleared off the goal line. 

Burnley FC Women soon equalised as Cooper and Rathburn worked quickly forward and crossed over the keeper where Hope flicked in at the back post. 1-1. 

Thomas was again close to scoring after Priestley picked up possession and fed her in on goal. Her shot was blocked by a defender and a follow up by Rathburn was also blocked for the ball to be cleared. Then, as the Clarets continued to dominate, a free kick awarded for a foul on Priestley 25 yards out was driven in by Owen. The keeper was unable to hold on and the ball dropped where a scramble for possession resulted in a clearance from the visitors. 

In the early stages of the second period, the Clarets continued their good form, but the visitors defended well in the final third.  

Owen delivered another free kick which dropped onto the back of the net before a breakout by the visitors saw a long-range shot drop from high up which Bracewell spilled under pressure. McCoy pounced on the loose ball and scored. 1-2. 

Burnley FC Women tried to respond, a shot from Thomas was marginally wide, and Hope tried to get a second goal after intercepting a pass in the visitor’s defence. As time progressed, the visitors pinned the Clarets back more and more and at the final whistle, the Clarets dropped to their first defeat of the season.   

Final Score: Burnley FC Women 1 – 2 AFC Fylde Women.