Burnley FC Ladies FA Cup journey came to an end on Sunday after a hard-fought match against Women’s Premier League side, Cardiff City Ladies. However, the fixture was the finale in what has been an excellent run for the Lady Clarets.
To reach the third-round of the Women’s FA Cup, the furthest stage of the competition the side had ever reached, Burnley FC Ladies faced tough competition from the beginning. During the preliminary rounds, the team beat Fleetwood Town Wrens Ladies FC, a side recently demoted from the 4th tier Women’s Premier League Northern Division 1. Following matches resulted in wins against Merseyrail Bootle Ladies FC and Wigan Athletic Ladies FC.
In the first-round tie Burnley FC Ladies faced Alnwick Town Ladies, a big occasion for both sides. It was the first time the Clarets Ladies had reached this stage and, for the opposition, the fixture attracted a strong crowd, creating a real buzz around female football in the Northumberland town.
A win against Alnwick Ladies ensured a second-round fixture against Stoke City Ladies FC, another tough game for the Clarets with two leagues separating the sides. A defensive performance saw the fixture end in a penalty shootout with Goalkeeper Lauren Bracewell making some fantastic saves over the course of the 90 minutes and the tense penalty shootout finish.
The team travelled to Cardiff City Ladies FC for the third-round, with the Premier League Southern Division side’s hospitality and pitch facilities fitting the grand occasion perfectly.
With a result of 3-2, Burnley FC Ladies finished the fixture feeling disappointed and frustrated. With an even game throughout, the feeling the Clarets could have come away with the win is indisputable.
The historic FA Cup run is further evidence of the growth and increased focus on female football at Burnley FC in the Community. To compete with various teams from higher divisions illustrates the strong position of the club and the possibilities for the future.
Burnley FC Ladies First Team Manager, Matt Bee said: “Sunday’s fixture against Cardiff City Ladies FC was obviously a massive disappointment especially after getting ourselves back into the game and working as hard as we did.”
“However, the overall FA Cup journey has been unbelievable and the performances we have put in to achieve the best piece of history the club has ever had has been fantastic. For a club of our current size to be in the 3rd round of the historic competition was brilliant, and we have not only competed but beaten teams from the Women’s Premier League along the way. I’m immensely proud of the players and we have shown that we can hold our own at the top levels of the women’s game and hopefully we can use this as a platform to move forward.”
To find out more information about Burnley FC Girls & Ladies and Female Football at Burnley FC in the Community, contact Female Football Development Officer, Matt Bee on 01282 704 716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org