Burnley FC Women extend unbeaten start to the season

Lauren Bracewell gathers the ball
Lauren Bracewell gathers the ball

Burnley maintained their unbeaten start to the FA WNL Premier Division North season with a goalless draw against Fylde Women at the Ruby Civil Arena on Wednesday night.

A superb first half goalkeeping display by Lauren Bracewell helped maintain parity in a half where Fylde Women attacked repeatedly but were left frustrated.

The Clarets on the attack

The Clarets on the attack

The second half was also devoid of goals, but both sides worked tirelessly to gain an advantage in an exciting face to face clash.

Fylde pressed forward from the start, hoping to make a quick impression on the game. A passing move down the left side led to a ball though to their striker, who sent an overhead kick high over 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, the ball was played through midfield and passed out to their right winger, who struck a hard driving left foot shot that forced Bracewell to palm the ball above the bar.

Lauren Bracewell claims a high ball

Lauren Bracewell claims a high ball

The following corner kick resulted in 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 bar.

The Clarets recovered and pushed forward, though Sarah Greenhalgh was felled by a reckless tackle that perhaps should have been punished by a card.

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 at her right-hand post during a goal mouth scramble, and then watched as a strong header from the corner flew over.

The Clarets look for a way through

The Clarets look for a way through

In the second half, 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 press 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 claim a second time as the ball dropped.

Burnley on the front foot

Burnley on the front foot

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.