Lizzy Hamer struck a late winner for Burnley FC Women at the Druid Park Stadium on Sunday as the Lady Clarets returned to the top of FA WNL North Division 1.
The Clarets travelled to the game with a depleted squad due to injuries, and followed a game plan devised by manager Matt Bee to eke out a slender victory.
Evie Priestley had an early chance when she received a Katie Halligan cross at the near post but she was blocked by the home keeper when she turned to shoot.
Further chances for the Clarets were few and far between as they needed to defend hard against a very slick and well-organised side.
A superb performance by the Clarets back three of Dani Cooper, Samantha Fleck and Vikki Eastwood kept keeper Lauren Bracewell protected for large periods.
The Newcastle strikers waited for some time for a strong chance, which fell to Steph Ord, who shot wide from an angle, and soon another chance was fired over from distance.
Another shot whistled wide before Ord ran onto a through ball, but shot straight at Bracewell to sighs of relief.
The Clarets started the second half with increased forward momentum and the game swung from end to end.
Newcastle had the better chances initially when a striker cut through and Bracewell blocked her shot, that was then cleared by Natalie Bell.
From a corner, the home team challenged Bracewell with a header to her left-hand side, but she got down quickly and smothered the attempt, and later superbly tipped a shot from Abbey Joice over.
From the corner, Bracewell was again well positioned to collect a header.
The hosts’ frustration was soon to turn to despair as the Clarets applied pressure late on.
A Justine Wallace free kick was headed out, where Lizzy Hamer connected well to strike hard at goal ,and a blocking defender suffered the full impact.
After the restart, Leah Embley picked up a pass out wide and ran into the box, avoiding a lunging tackle to pass back to Hamer, who picked out the bottom corner.
The Clarets continued in determined style to hold on to their one-goal advantage.
Burnley FC Women have no scheduled games until Sunday, November 18th, when they travel to Chorley FC Women to compete in the third round of the Lancashire FA Women’s Challenge Cup.