Three-successive wins have propelled Burnley FC Women to second place in the FA WNL North Division 1 table.
On Sunday, at the Arbories, two early goals from player of the match Leah Embley and Evie Priestley were enough to see off Norton and Stockton Ancients.
The Clarets made a solid start, attacking up the slope.
In the fourth minute, Embley received the ball in midfield and slipped past a marker to drive down the wing and cross. A defender’s interception rebounded back to her, and, seeing the keeper off her line, she lobbed her to open the scoring.
Directly from the restart, the visitors raided down the left side and crossed to a striker, whose scissors kick struck the inside of the post and bounced into the arms of keeper Lauren Bracewell, to the great relief of the Clarets.
The Clarets were dealt a blow when defender Danielle Cooper limped off with an Achilles strain, but they doubled their advantage when Evie Priestley picked out Embley, who again powered down the wing and crossed back to Priestley, who guided the ball past the keeper into the net.
The visitors were showing signs of frustration but fought back and were rewarded for their efforts when a free kick from 20 yards struck the bar, and the rebound landed at the feet of a striker, who powered a shot into the net from close range.
Later in the half, a long ball allowed a Norton striker to cut through on goal, and from a sharp angle, a shot hit the post for another let off.
In the second period, both Priestley and Sarah Greenhalgh had one on one duels with the keeper, who came out on top.
As time passed by, the visitors became more physical, and forced Bracewell to make a diving interception from a cross, while, in the final minutes, Bracewell also won a one on one with a striker.
On Thursday, Burnley chalked up three more points against Bolton Wanderers LFC at Atherton Collieries’ Kensite Stadium.
The only goal came late in the first period when Priestley, in a crowded goalmouth, unselfishly side footed the ball to Lynette Craig, who smartly lofted the ball out of reach of the keeper.
The Clarets started the game very nervously, knowing that they had the slope against them.
Misplaced passes by the Clarets added to the challenge, but the defensive cohesion of captain Jo Holt and Sammy Fleck, in the centre with Vikki Eastwood and Cooper protecting the flanks, softened the relentless assaults by the home team.
Bolton did breach the Clarets goal with a powerful header when a cross got through from the left, but the goal was discounted by an assistant’s flag.
In the last 10 minutes of the half, the Clarets finally settled down and competed in all areas, which gave hope that half-time could be reached without conceding a goal, and the second period would be less arduous with the slope working to their advantage.
With the minutes ticking by, Embley intercepted in mid field and started a chain of passes that would tip the game in the favour of the Clarets with the Craig goal on 42 minutes.
In the second period, the Clarets competed consistently.
The defensive control exerted by Eastwood, Holt, Fleck and star player Cooper frustrated the home team as they tried to break through.
At the other end the Clarets were looking to increase the scoreline as Embley, Craig and Lizzy Hamer all pressed at the home defence.
Greenhalgh cut through and came closest, but the game ended with a one goal advantage to the Clarets.
On Sunday, Burnley FC Women face Liverpool Feds in the SSE Women’s FA Cup second qualifying round, kick-off 2 p.m. at Padiham’s Arbories ground.