Despite a heroic performance against higher-league opposition, Burnley Ladies suffered a 4-3 extra-time defeat against Morecambe in the third qualifying round of the FA Women’s Cup.
From the outset, Clarets were put under immediate pressure from a fast moving and skilful Morecambe outfit and conceded the opening goal in the fourth minute when a long-range effort, helped by the prevailing wind, deceived the young Clarets keeper, Jodie Mountain.
Burnley responded well to this early setback. The wily Justine Wallace creating a chance for Becky Hayton but the prolific striker shot wide under pressure from the keeper.
Clarets midfielder Charlotte Coates created another chance for Hayton but the Morecambe stopper again saved well.
The Clarets peppered the Morecambe goal in search of an equaliser, but timwe and again te keeper foiled the Burnley strikers.
As half-time approached, Morecambe caught the Clarets on the break and, against the run of play, doubled their advantage.
Following the interval, a re-vitalised Morecambe pounded the Burnley goal and made it 3- 0 within two minutes of the restart, the striker converting from a narrow angle following a superb save from Mountain.
At 3-0 down, the Clarets ,played on with determination; Morecambe were pushed back and rarely managed to venture far into the Clarets’ half.
The introduction of young midfielder Natalie Bell, for her first appearance this season, added further to Burnley’s dominance. An elegant through ball found Wallace, who slotted the ball home, only to be denied by a linesman’s flag.
A cross into the Morecambe box was met by Jo Rohman, who powered a header inches wide of the post.
The marauding Clarets deservedly reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute when another goal-mouth scramble fell to the feet of the predatory Hayton.
Wallace and Katie Pollard then went close before Burnley made it 3-2 with a magnificent goal, Hayton spotting the keeper off her line and striking a thunderous 50-yard effort over her head.
In the last 10 minutes, Hayton’s deflected shot was tipped over the bar.
Captain Jo Holt’s rising shot was also turned over by the keeper. But the Clarets levelled from the corner, Holt heading home to take the tie into extra time.
An unfortunate defensive mix up provided a Morecambe striker with an open goal and the Clarets were behind once more.
The Clarets pushed hard and dominated much of the final period, but with injuries and fatigue taking their toll, sadly they could not find another equaliser.
They return to league action on Sunday when they travel to Wigan Athletic.
The Burnley Ladies Development Team marched on with a 5-1 win against St Josephs team, with goals by new signings Hannah Skinner and Sam Cooke, and a hat trick by the talented Bryony Bancroft, cemented a 5-1 win.
The Under 15s put the disappointment of last week’s League Cup exit behind them to return to winning ways with a 3-2 home win against a strong Athletico side.
Two goals from Maddie Blackburn put the Clarets in a strong position, but Athletico levelled
A last-minute free kick from Katie Haligan bounced off the post and rolled over the line to give the home side all three points.
The Under 13s were in action against Wigan for the second successive week.
It looked as though there would be a repeat of last week’s 6-1 score line, as the Clarets eased into a 3-0 lead. Wigan scored two soft goals, but Burnley managed to hold on.
The Under 14s came away empty handed as they were beaten 3- 1 at home by West End AFC.