BURTON Albion fell to a second consecutive FAWNL Division One Midlands defeat on Sunday as they were comprehensively beaten by a well-drilled Leek Town side.
Quick-fire goals from Katie Gibbons and Rose O’Connor were compounded by a goal deep into first-half injury time to complete a demoralising opening 45 for the Brewers.
A brief fight-back saw Burton pull one back through Milly Wortley, but late goals from Gibbons and Alana Copeland concluded the rout for the away side.
It was a devastating first half performance from the visitors, with Chantelle Gallagher proving too much to handle for the Burton defence.
The hosts received a warning shot just a few minutes in when the influential midfielder picked Gibbons out in the box, fortunately for the Brewers her shot flew wildly over the crossbar.
Albion would not heed this warning, however, as just eight minutes later they would concede through the very same combination. Gallagher’s precise cross field ball took a touch on the way through to Gibbons, but found the winger nonetheless, and this time she made no mistake. After taking a touch to set herself, she confidently stroked the ball past Langstone to break the deadlock.
The goal seemed to rock the Brewers as they found themselves two behind with just 19 minutes gone. After winning possession in midfield, the ball fell to O’Connor on the edge of the box, and she showed composure to fire past Langstone and double her side’s lead.
Albion did show resistance following the second goal, however, and Millie Drinkhall forced Beth Cottrell into action, with the Leek goalkeeper palming away the midfielder’s long-range effort. Yet, Town always looked the more likely to add to the scoreline, and they would do so in first-half stoppage time.
With just seconds left before the half-time whistle, Gibbons squared across goal to the unmarked O’Connor. The striker made no mistake, finding the bottom corner with just Langstone to beat.
Tommy Booth and Kristian Gilbert responded to the first half performance by making two changes, and the hosts would reduce the deficit just four minutes into the second period. Substitute Dannie Oxley’s corner was met by the head of Emily Gillott, allowing Milly Wortley to stab home the loose ball at the back post.
Albion had given themselves a glimmer of hope and they continued to push to find a way back into the game. Unfortunately, Leek were stubborn in defence, the hosts' best chance coming when Mollie Garner saw her shot towards the near post pushed away by Cottrell.
With Burton legs tiring, however, the visitors nearly extended their lead. Gibbons was continuing to cause havoc down the left, and her cross to the back post was headed just off target by Gallagher.
Gibbons then saw her shot towards the far post curl wide after a dummy from O’Connor had given her time to pick her spot. Despite the pressure from Leek, Langstone was resilient and got down well to deny Katie Maya from putting the game to bed - pushing her low shot around the post.
Yet, the Brewers’ resistance would finally be broken late on. From a Burton corner, Leek broke, leading to Gibbons ghosting into the Albion box after beating the offside trap.
With nobody around her the winger was afforded time and space to bring the ball down and volley her side into a 4-1 lead.
Leek were ruthless in their pursuit of more goals, however, and they would make it five when Gallagher recycled a corner to the back post, and despite Langstone managing to touch the initial header onto the crossbar, Alana Copeland was the left with the easiest of finishes on the rebound.
The Brewers are back in action on Sunday with an away trip to Solihull Moors in FAWNL action, before three home league games in a row against Bedworth United, Sporting Khalsa and Leafield Athletic take us into November.