West Clubs Women’s League
Sedgemoor Division 1
Sidmouth & Ottery 2nds 1, Burnham-on-Sea 0

BURNHAM-ON-SEA ladies were left to rue missed opportunities in a crucial clash with a physical Sidmouth & Ottery 2nd team.

With both teams fighting in the lower half of the league, it was the home side that started the stronger, taking an early lead that proved to be enough in the end.

Fortunately for the visitors, goalkeeper Sian Kelly was on top form as she made several important stops in a first half dominated by the hosts.

Imogen Wright and Emma Ballard also played well, as they worked hard to keep Sidmouth at bay.

When the Blues eventually got going, most of their good chances came through Hattie Lambourne’s positive movement and Caroline Hunt’s determination in and around the D, with both going close to equalising.

The visitors improved massively in the second half, as the midfield of Lambourne, Louise Peace, Sarah Johnson and Carly Bush saw a lot more of the ball, and they kept and used it better.

Kerry Harvey tried to create openings with her direct running and dribbling, so the home side clearly decided that the only way to stop her was to block and stick tackle her, which resulted in a green card for one of their defenders.

This didn’t help Burnham’s fluidity, though, as they enjoyed the majority of possession but struggled to implement a plan B.

They forced several short corners, from which Hunt and Johnson went close, before Peace and Bush combined to win a penalty flick, given when the latter’s goal-bound effort was stopped from going in by a defender’s leg.

Unfortunately for the Blues, this golden opportunity to equalise was saved by the home keeper, and so the away side’s best chance to get something from the match had disappeared.

Lambourne continued to drive the team on right until the end, never giving up and showing great skill and stamina.

Both she and Hunt deserved more, given their performances, but ultimately it was the home side that took all the points.

The result means that fourth-bottom Burnham are just three points ahead of Sidmouth and Winscombe 2nds, having missed the chance to pull clear of the drop zone.

Player of the match: Hattie Lambourne

Burnham will finish the first half of the league season with a tough match at home to table-topping Minehead this coming Saturday (10am), at King Alfred Sports Centre.