Burton Albion Ladies 7 Solihull Moors Ladies 1
By Luke Turner
Leanne Prescott reports on the opening day defeat
Solihull suffered defeat in their opening game of the 2018/19 FA Women’s National League against Burton Albion. The home side asserted their dominance early on in the contest but there were still positives to take for the Moors against one of the division’s top sides.
Sam Abbott was called into action early on when Burton had a great chance to get off the mark inside the opening 10 minutes with a corner. The resulting header went safely into the ‘keeper’s hands before she quickly dished it out the back, allowing Solihull to enjoy a spell of possession.
Unfortunately, it was Burton that broke free with three goals in the space of 17 minutes before the first-half whistle. Jamie Leigh Fowler was on hand to slot the ball in at the back post to break the deadlock after a cagey opening twenty minutes before Paris O’Connor’s left-footed effort and Hayleigh Sutton’s calm close-range finish put Burton in the ascendancy at half-time.
The second-half continued in a similar pattern with Albion dominating possession, resulting in an early goal from Amelia Robb just after the interval. However, Solihull kept fighting valiantly and got their reward after brilliant work from Chante Douglas saw the visitors awarded a penalty after 65 minutes.
Newly appointed vice-captain Pip Harmison made no mistake from the spot, smashing the ball down the middle of the goal and get off the mark for the new season. The introduction of Bamber for O’Bryne with 19 minutes left on the clock gave new life to Solihull, with the substitute straight into the action. Sprinting down the right-hand side, she produced a pinpoint cross for Douglas, whose header was well saved by the Burton ‘keeper.
The home side extended their lead with two goals in quick succession in the 82nd minute before a late penalty was awarded for Rebecca Green’s lunge on the Burton striker. Abbott did well to get a strong hand onto the effort but was unfortunate to see the ball bulge into the net thereafter.
With Burton earning a 2nd placed finish last season, it was always set to be a testing afternoon for the Solihull Ladies and while the game ended 7-1 at the Lamb Ground, there were plenty of positives to take including the tenacity and work rate of the Solihull players.
The Moors face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday and will be hoping for better fortunes against the current league leaders.
Moors: Abbott (GK), O'Byrne (Bamber 71), Scott, Bourton, Belcher, Davies, Green, Harmison, Douglas, Bickley, Taylor (C).