Ladies' Reserves move to the top of the table with victory over Sunderland
Rovers Ladies Reserves 2-1 Sunderland Reserves
(Reserves) Mid/North Division One
Sunday November 4th, 2012
Ainsley Strickland scored a late winner, as a strong Rovers Ladies Reserves side beat Sunderland 2-1 to move to the top of the table.
In an entertaining encounter, Rovers started the brighter of the two teams, as the visitors struggled to get to grips with the early pace of the game.
Rovers got into their rhythm quickly and opened the scoring on 23 minutes. Sunderland failed to deal with a Hollie Kelsh corner, which fell to Danielle Whitham on the edge of the area and her looping shot beat the despairing dive of the Sunderland keeper.
Rovers continued to press as the half wore on, with Sunderland’s only real threat coming from a quick counter attack down the right, which Gemma Jackson dealt with comfortably.
Sunderland came out much stronger in the second half and levelled less than 30 seconds after the restart when Abbey Joice’s scuffed shot from the edge of the six-yard box went under Jackson’s outstretched arm and into the bottom corner.
The goal gave Sunderland a new lease of life and they played with more confidence going forward, but a resilient Rovers defence denied them any real threat.
Rovers responded well and enjoyed good spells of possession, but should have made more of their opportunities in the final third.
However, on 88 minutes, Evie Manning made a determined run down the right, past the Sunderland full-back, before delivering a dangerous cross across the face of goal, which the impressive Strickland fired home at the far post.
Manager Zac Foley said: “After last week’s disappointment in the cup it was important we gave a good performance this week.
“I thought we were the better side. We lacked composure in the final third at times and probably should have scored a few more goals had our decision making been a bit better.
“Overall, this was a good result for us against a strong Sunderland side and I am very proud of the girls for showing great character in the final minutes to take all three points.
“We now have to concentrate on the game at Manchester City next weekend.”
ROVERS: Jackson, Pennington, Oates, Cox, Newton (Lowrie 50), Flynn, Moorhouse (Bland 72), Kelsh (Boulton 62), Whitham, Manning, Strickland.
Subs not used: Weston, Noori.