Following five straight defeats, Rovers moved off the foot of the Northern Division table thanks to goals in each half from Nichol Forster and Keira Walsh.
On a poor pitch, Derby came close to opening the scoring straight from kick-off. A ball back to Steph Hardy bobbled over the defender’s foot, but Jo Hutcheson came to Rovers’ rescue, tipping the striker’s shot around the post.
Determined to bounce back from the Lancashire Cup final defeat to Preston two days earlier, a resilient Rovers responded superbly and made the breakthrough on five minutes. Vicky Westerman set up Forster, who cleverly clipped the ball around the centre-half, before poking it past the keeper.
The early goal eased the pressure on Rovers, who controlled the game throughout. Sophie Flynn was unfortunate not to make more of a superb Walsh cross, whilst Westerman also threatened with a good effort.
On 56 minutes, Rovers got the second goal their dominance deserved when Walsh’s bullet strike from 25 yards out flew into the top corner.
Walsh came close to a second, but smashed the ball into the side-netting, whilst Westerman wasted a one-on-one, as Rovers ran out comfortable winners.
Interim manager Gemma Donnelly said: “We could have made the scoreline more comfortable, but the win was the most important and the girls were jubilant after the match, because it moved us off the bottom of the table and we’ve got games in hand on the teams above us.
“In my opinion, the league isn’t a true reflection of a team’s performances, given the movement of players between clubs and the introduction of the Women’s Super League. The main thing is our fate is in our own hands and it is up to us to continue to do the business and pick up points.”
ROVERS: Hutcheson, Fleming, Seed, S. Hardy, Bourne, Flynn, Savage (Emery 70), Goodwin (Pennington 84), Westerman (H. Forster 65), Walsh, N. Forster.
Subs not used: Adams.