Words: Steve Topping; Pictures: Keith Bowes
Chorley were looking to put their recent run of defeats behind them as they faced top-of-the-table Burnley at Victory Park on Sunday afternoon.
It soon became obvious that the game would follow the previous encounter from November in being a hard-fought, physical encounter. Chorley pressed early with some lively play by new signing Michelle Saunders which resulted in a shot that went wide.
Burnley retaliated quickly and a dangerous attack down the left was thwarted by a well timed tackle from Abi Fenton. After 20 minutes Chorley’s first corner resulted in a goal mouth scramble but the effort looped over the bar. On 25 minutes Lisa Topping, despite slipping, managed to get off a powerful goal bound shot which deflected off a defender and hit the bar.
The half hour mark was the start of a good period of play from Burnley with efforts hitting the post, bar, and a couple of fine saves by Izzy Atkinson. The half ended with a good cross by Rebecca Kemp, but Katy Morris could only direct the header over the bar.
The second half started with an early shot from Grace Vella. Burnley hit straight back with a swift attack resulting in the only goal of the game. A nice layoff on the edge of the box found Evie Priestley in space, and a fine finish gave Atkinson no chance.
The second half continued in similar fashion to the first, with some hard-fought encounters in midfield. Fine passing by Laura Walker and some powerful tackling by Topping kept Chorley competitive but the equalising goal remained elusive. Late substitutions by Chorley were to no avail and Burnley took all three points which keeps them at the top of the table.
Chorley: Atkinson; Fenton, Searson, Nickson (Worth, 65′), Mitchell (Mills, 72′), Topping, Walker (c), Vella, Saunders (Catlow, 80′), Morris, Kemp. Subs not used: Bowes.
HT 0-0 / FT 0-1
Goals: Priestley (50′)
Next Up: A trip to County Durham on Sunday for the FA Women’s National League clash with Norton & Stockton Ancients.