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Match Report: Burnley FC Women v AFC Fylde Women

Wednesday 3rd April 2024

FA Women’s National League Northern Premier Division

AFC Fylde Women endured a heavy defeat on Wednesday with a 9-0 reverse to Burnley FC Women at the Lancashire FA County Ground.

Jake Williams’s and Steve Mainwaring’s team started April with a midweek trip to Leyland for their rearranged meeting with the Claret Women.

The Coasters worked hard and produced some good moments throughout the 90 minutes, but they were put to the sword by their free-scoring opponents. Rebecca Sawiuk’s Clarets started strongly before accelerating through the gears in the second half to rack up nine goals without reply.

Lizzy Hamer headed the hosts in front, before Laura Elford netted twice in the space of 11 minutes to establish a three-goal cushion at the interval. Shortly after the restart, the Clarets extended their lead as Elford completed her hat-trick.

With the introduction of fresh attacking options off the bench, Burnley ramped up the pressure on the Fylde defence and added five more goals in the final half-hour as Naomi Hartley, Millie Ravening, Aimee Kelly (x2) and Alethea Paul all got their names on the scoresheet.

It sealed a third consecutive win for Burnley, who climbed up to second in the division. Meanwhile, Fylde remained rooted to the foot of the table after recording their second away defeat in the space of four days.

Ahead of this Lancashire derby, Minnie Rogers and Eve Whitaker came into Fylde’s starting eleven, while Karri Chan made only her second appearance for the club. Liz Craven kept her place between the sticks.

In a high-tempo opening, Burnley’s Emma Siddall tried her luck from distance and bent a shot towards the far corner, but Craven made an acrobatic save to deny her.

The Clarets opened the scoring in the 13th minute after Ravening’s deep cross was met by Hamer, who steered her header into the bottom corner.

With goalscoring opportunities at a premium, Fylde looked to threaten from set-pieces. Iszy Binks’s lofted free-kick dropped to Sasha Rowe, whose left-footed drive was blocked by the Burnley defence.

The Clarets doubled their lead in the 26th minute when Leah Embley’s piledriver was parried by Craven, before Elford ran in to prod home the rebound.

In the 37th minute, Elford bagged her second in more fortuitous circumstances. Collecting the ball on the edge of the area, Elford hit a speculative attempt that deflected off Beth Strutton’s back and looped over the helpless Craven to make it 3-0.

On the cusp of half-time, Fylde nearly reduced the arrears when Lois Moore worked space on the edge of the area and fired narrowly over the bar.

Half-Time: Burnley FC Women 3-0 AFC Fylde Women

The hosts continued to press forward and quickly added a fourth in the 49th minute. Connecting with a cross from the left, Elford nodded into the bottom right corner to complete her hat-trick.

At the other end, Fylde striker Demi Devereaux arrowed a free-kick towards the near post, but Burnley goalkeeper Lucy Farrell was equal to it.

The Clarets registered a fifth goal just past the hour mark. An inswinging free-kick from the right caused a goalmouth scramble, from which defender Hartley capitalised to score her first goal for the club.

Burnley grabbed a sixth in the 70th minute as Ravening beat Craven with a side-footed finish from close range. The hosts then scored a seventh immediately after the restart. Ravening’s initial shot drew a fine save from Craven, but the rebound fell invitingly to substitute Aimee Kelly, who converted into an empty net.

To their credit, the Coasters battled on and almost pulled a goal back when Rowe struck a free-kick that flashed inches over the crossbar.

With only minutes remaining, Burnley netted an eighth, this time from Alethea Paul’s looping shot into the far corner of the net.

The Clarets rounded off the scoring with the last action of the game. Ravening slid the ball through to Kelly, who coolly slotted the ball into the far corner for her second of the contest. 

The full-time whistle seconds later brought an end to a difficult evening for the Coasters.

Full-Time: Burnley FC Women 9-0 AFC Fylde Women

Burnley FC Women: Farrell, Embley, Hamer, Elford (54’ Kelly), Lord-Mears (63’ Robinson), Cooper (67’ Paul), Ravening, Prior (71’ Marshall), Reidford (58’ Clarke), Hartley, Siddall

AFC Fylde Women: Craven, Hamill, Strutton, Whitaker, Rowe, Binks, Rogers, Chan, Wood, Devereaux, Moore

Unused substitute: Maguire

Report by Scott Jones

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