BURNLEY FC Women fell to their third league defeat of the season 3-1 at Derby County LFC after taking the lead in a promising first-half performance.

Solid defending had given the Clarets the springboard to break out and catch the home side on the break and Katie Thomas gave the visitors a 15th-minute lead.

However, Derby were level before the break when Callan Barber despatched a 32nd-minute penalty awarded for handball.

The second half saw the Clarets denied by two great saves before the home team took control of the game by scoring twice to finish with a comfortable 3-1 victory.

Burnley opened the scoring following a rapid counter attack that led to a corner which was driven in low and Thomas struck home through a crowded area.

But just after the half hour mark, a penalty was awarded to Derby after the referee adjudged a handball by Cara Bickett. Barber’s kick deceived Lauren Bracewell and the home side levelled the score.

Despite Derby having the better chances in the second half, Burnley continued to try to catch them on the break and Thomas was denied a second by a superb save by Charlotte Clarke.

Derby continued to pile on the pressure and finally took the lead when a shot from substitute Jodie Michalska deflected beyond Bracewell.

From there Derby maintained a strong advantage. Michalska in a good position headed straight to Bracewell while two further shots were marginally over the bar.

The home side got a third goal when Sophie Domingo’s surging run saw her outpace the Burnley defence, step around Bracewell and roll her shot into the empty net to put the game out of reach.