Burnley FC Women v Fylde Women FC
FA WNL Premier Division North
The Arbories, Ruby Civil Arena – Padiham FC
Wednesday 4th September 2019
A superb first half goalkeeping display by Burnley FC Women’s Lauren Bracewell helped maintain parity in a half where Fylde Women FC attacked repeatedly but were left frustrated.
The second half was also devoid of goals but both sides worked tirelessly to gain a goal advantage in an exciting face to face clash.
Fylde pressed forward from the starting whistle hoping to make a quick impression on the game. A passing move down the left side and ball though to their striker who tried an overhead kick, but it flew high above the goal. The Clarets replied with a similar move but were blocked from shooting by the Fylde defence on the edge of the box.
The Clarets held possession well in the early stages, but when they conceded a free kick Fylde looked to pounce again. The kick was played through midfield and passed out to their right winger who struck a hard driving left foot shot from 28 yards that forced Bracewell to leap high and palm the ball above the bar. The following corner kick resulted on a loose ball in the area that was struck hard and again Bracewell managed to get an arm out to the shot to deflect the ball onto the crossbar.
The Clarets recovered and pushed forward, though Sarah Greenhalgh was felled by a reckless tackle that perhaps should have been punished by a card.
Helped by the advantage of the slope Fylde were able to turn tables quickly from defence to attack but were met by Bracewell’s good ability to intercept and catch crossed balls even though she found herself being impeded by niggling challenges and pushes.
The best early chance for the Clarets resulted from a flick forward by Lizzy Hamer inside the box that Greenhalgh first controlled with her head and then struck a volley from six yards, though her shot ran wide of the goal.
In the latter stages of the half Bracewell made another fine save as she dived down to save at her right-hand post during a goal mouth scramble and then watched as a strong header from the corner flew high and safely into the night sky.
The Clarets defence were working hard and managing to breakout of a sustained effort by Fylde who were noticeable desperate to turnaround a poor season start. Greenhalgh was again cropped down in a breakaway move and this time the referee punished the offender with a card.
The Clarets opened the second half with a strong performance. Defender Kerry Hope pushed forward and shot just over from 20 yards and it was several minutes more before Fylde responded with a similar move. The Clarets continued to pressure in the first 20 minutes and were winning corners and troubling the opposition goal. Later in the half Fylde started to make moves up field but without the intensity of the first half as both sides showed signs of tiring after a gruelling first hour.
Late on a Fylde cross from the bye line resulted in the only real scare of the half for the Clarets as Bracewell tried to catch from high up but then she had to catch a second time as the ball dropped.
Levi Rathburn made a couple of late runs at goal and perhaps had the best chance of the half deep in stoppage time as she closed in on the Fylde keeper but shot wide.
On Sunday, Burnley FC Women are again league action away against another strongly favoured side Middlesbrough Women FC at the Billington Town FC ground, kick-off 2pm.