Lancashire Cup semi-final
Sunday January 26th, 2013
Katie Anderton scored twice as Rovers Ladies cruised into the final of the Lancashire Cup courtesy of a 3-1 win away to Preston.
Rovers dominated the early exchanges, with Beth Donoghue seeing a chance snuffed out, before Steph Marsh and Anderton both had strikes well saved.
The cup holders were made to pay for those missed chances, as Preston scored against the run of play. With the sun in the goalkeeper’s eyes, a free-kick 50 yards out eluded everyone in the Rovers box and bounced into the bottom corner of the goal.
Rovers responded well, by upping the tempo and creating chances for Kim Turner and Donoghue, who both failed to force the ball over the line in a goalmouth scramble.
The visitors eventually equalised on 35 minutes, when the ball was played into Anderton, who wriggled free and coolly fired over the keeper from 30 yards.
In the second half, Rovers continued where they had left off before the break, pressing Preston high up the pitch and forcing them into mistakes. Keeleigh Savage’s introduction at the expense of Hannah Forster gave them further attacking options.
On 65 minutes, Rovers took the lead. A well-worked move down the left saw Marsh’s delivery casually dummied by Turner and Anderton fired home her second of the match.
Rovers continued to push forward in an attempt to kill the game off. Savage had a strike that smashed the bar and was cleared off the line, before Marsh rounded the keeper, but the hosts somehow managed to scramble it away.
A third goal looked inevitable and it duly arrived on 72 minutes. Anderton slid in Donoghue, who cut back inside and fired the ball into the bottom corner to secure Rovers’ safe passage through to a 10th consecutive county cup final.
Preston had one final attack in the closing stages, but Gemma Watson’s shot was well held by Gemma Jackson.
Manager Scott Rogers said: “I am absolutely delighted for the girls and the club. The girls love playing in the Lancashire Cup final, as we have shown today.
“We always knew it was going to be a difficult game, but I was confident that if we played anywhere near the level we know we can, then we should get a positive result, which proved to be the case.
“We have trained once in two weeks because of the weather and to put in a performance like that in a semi-final is brilliant. We have a tough game at Wolves in the League Cup next week and hopefully we’ve seen the last of the bad weather so our season can really kick on.”
ROVERS: Jackson, Oates, Bennett, Roberts, Marsh (N. Forster 81), Cox, Twohig, Turner, H. Forster (Savage 56), Donoghue (Manning 83), Anderton.