West Clubs Women’s League
Sedgemoor Division 1
Burnham-on-Sea 2, Minehead 5

FOR anyone not at this match, the result would indicate that Burnham ladies took a bit of a thrashing, but this could not have been further from the truth, as they gave top-of-the-table Minehead a real scare.

They pushed the current leaders all the way and actually led twice before letting them off the hook in the last 15 minutes.

They tired towards the end after all their earlier effort, and Minehead upped their game, but even they recognised they got very lucky.

The Blues started strongly and were well up for the game, with the front three right on it, taking the game to Minehead and catching them out with their fast pressing and work ethic.

Kerry Harvey was getting a lot of joy down the right and linking well with Louise Peace, so most of Burnham’s good play came from that side.

Amy Edmundson was on fire and had already tested the keeper before another of her powerful shots was saved – but this time Harvey was on hand for the rebound to put the hosts in front.

They could have doubled this lead, as Caroline Hunt went close from a penalty corner and Hattie Lambourne almost connected with a Peace cross.

But despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Sian Kelly and Nicki Glanville on the line, Minehead managed to squeeze home an equaliser just before half time.

The hosts came out fighting again for the second half, and Edmundson got her deserved goal with a strike from a short corner that deflected in off the visiting goalkeeper.

The Blues held the lead for the majority of the second half, during which they defended magnificently.

Emma Ballard was particularly superb, marking and tackling tenaciously, while Kelly made several vital saves.

Edmundson charged down every short corner, showing great energy and bravery, and Peace made endless recovery runs back to make important interceptions.

Unfortunately, Burnham were undone from a quickly-taken free hit, as a lack of concentration left a Minehead player free to equalise.

This only served to rile the Blues, as they went up the other end and forced another penalty corner.

This time, Edmundson saw her effort cleared off the line, and she later lashed a shot wide when a softer approach may have been beneficial.

A few goalmouth scrambles then ensued, as the hosts tried to find a way past the keeper, who went to ground a lot and could have conceded a flick on another day.

Carly Bush thought she had scored when she got on the end of Lambourne’s cross, but saw her first-time flick drift agonisingly wide, and Hunt had another shot cleared off the line as Burnham threw everything forward, when settling for the draw may have been the better option.

The away side finally made one of their corners count to take the lead for the first time, and the deflated Blues conceded another two goals straight away, to give the scoreline a one-sided look.

Burnham deserved at least a point from this match, and will hope this does not prove fatal in the long run.

Player of the match: Emma Ballard

Burnham’s last game of 2017 is at home to Yeovil in the cup on Saturday (11am start) at King Alfred School.