Stoke City FC Women 3

Burnley FC Women 0

Burnley FC Women’s league standing took another knock following a 3-0 loss against Stoke City FC Women with a below-par second half performance leaving them mid-table in the FAWNL Premier League North.

In the only other encounter between the teams, two years ago, the Clarets came out victors in a FA Cup penalty shoot-out second round tie after a battling


But in a first league game since mid-January, the Clarets lacked determination in parts and will need to rekindle their early season form if they are to achieve a top-half finish.

Stoke moved the ball around well in the early stages but the Clarets also looked dangerous on the counter attack. Sarah Agger was caught offside as she attempted to break though the home team’s high defensive line.

Stoke’s Faye McCoy tried her luck from distance but her effort landed harmlessly on the roof of Lauren Bracewell’s goal before Sarah Agger had a great chance at the other end but saw her shot deflect off a defender and over the bar.

The Clarets competed well but saw their chances snuffed out by the home defence. Agger played in Evie Priestley who was muscled off the ball by the last defender before the busy Agger hit the side netting.

Stoke responded and McCoy attempted another shot from distance that was tipped over the bar by Bracewell.

The Clarets went closest to opening the scoring when Priestley cut the ball back from the byline for Agger whose well struck shot rebounded off the underside of the bar.

But Burnley were undone when a high ball into the box was headed home by Natasha Baptiste who climbed above Bracewell to open the scoring.

The Clarets hit back and had a great chance to equalise late on in the half when Lizzy Hamer shot from the angle, forcing a fine diving save from the home keeper.

There was little in it at the break, but Stoke took the initiative in the second half and within minutes Baptiste had doubled her tally.

The Clarets defence were caught napping when they allowed the ball to travel across the goalmouth and the dangerous Baptiste fired home at the far post.

The Clarets remained under pressure and McCoy added a third goal when she struck a shot from the edge of the area – a superb curling strike with the outside of her boot to give Bracewell little chance in the Burnley goal.

But Burnley kept battling away and they rallied at the mid-way point of the half but had few noteworthy chances while Stoke were happy to cruise through the half.

Substitute Abby Hunt went close to scoring a fourth goal for the home side when she broke through but Bracewell had her shot covered.

Burnley FC Women will be looking to bounce back when they return to league action at home to Loughborough Foxes on Sunday.

Kick-off is 2pm and the game will take place at Padiham FC’s Ruby Civil Arena, 16 Well Street, Padiham, Burnley, BB12 8LE. Entrance is £3 for adults and £1 for under 16s.