A battling performance from Derby County Women was ultimately not enough as two second half goals from promotion-chasing Burnley secured the visitors the three points at the Don Amott Arena in the FA Women's National League Northern Premier Division.

In a cagey affair in which Derby kept their defensive shape well and had chances at the other end, Aimee Kelly got the important breakthrough for the visitors on the 72nd minute.

With Derby pushing forward for an equaliser, Abby Clarke sealed victory for the Clarets in the 86th minute.

Key Moments

Burnley dominated the ball early on and came close to an opener in the fifth minute when goalkeeper Anna Draper blocked Ginney Lackey’s shot.

The Ewes were denying the Clarets any clear-cut chances and were a threat on the counterattack themselves.

When midfielder Emily Joyce won the ball in the middle of the park, the prolific Rebecca May strode forward and hit a long-range strike that just failed to drop under the crossbar.

The Ewes came close on the 22nd minute after a spot of pinball in the penalty area which resulted in Charlotte Steggles hitting a shot that went over.

The best chance of the half came when Millie Ravening hit a shot that forced Draper to make a quick reaction save and tip the ball over the bar.

Moments before the half-time whistle, captain Amy Sims hit a shot that was deflected wide for a corner and subsequently had a chance from that which she headed straight at Kirstie Levell.

Derby started the second half the better side when Dolcie O’Connor was sent through on goal, only for her shot to be hit straight at the goalkeeper.

Burnley came close to opening the scoring when a cross was whipped into Naomi Hartley, but she headed wide.

The Clarets kept knocking on the door and came close when Kelly received a cross and hit a first time shot that was well blocked on the line by right-back Millie Jenkins.

The Ewes looked comfortable in their defensive shape, but a fine low strike from 20 yards from Kelly beat Draper with just under 20 minutes left to break the deadlock.

Clarke then doubled the lead in the final minutes on her debut when a Kelly shot was rebounded into her path and she bundled the ball into the back of the net to secure victory for the Clarets.

Derby are back at the Don Amott Arena next Sunday (10th March) when they host Halifax FC (2pm kick-off).

The Teams

Derby County Women: Draper (GK), Sims (C), Steggles, Jackson, Wilson, Joyce, Ashton (Rhodes-Andrews 46), Jenkins, Meadows, May, O’Connor (Rai 79).

Unused Substitutes: Morgan (GK), Ward, Shepherd.

Burnley Women: Levell (GK), Prior, Hartley, Wilkes, Siddall, Hamer, Robinson (Dalton 79), Ravening (C), Embley, Coleman-Evans (Clarke 69), Lackey (Kelly 60).

Unused Substitutes: Farrell (GK), Marshall.

Words: Ryan Robinson