Rovers need extra-time to see of Nottingham Forest to progress in the Premier Reserve League Cup.
Rovers Ladies Reserves 2-1 Nottingham Forest (AET)
Premier Reserve League Cup 1st round
Sunday September 30th, 2012
Rovers Ladies Reserves booked their place in the second round of the FA Women’s Premier Reserve League Cup courtesy of a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest after extra-time.
Rovers started slowly, with Forest having the most joy in the early exchanges. The visitors took a deserved lead on 20 minutes when the Rovers defence failed to clear their lines and the Forest striker nipped in to slot the ball past the onrushing Gemma Jackson.
This sparked Rovers into life, as they started to gain a foothold in the game. On 31 minutes, Jade Boulton had the ball in the back of the net, but the referee failed to give Rovers the advantage and pulled the play back for a free-kick on the edge of the area, much to the frustration of the home side. Chances continued to unfold, but to no avail.
The momentum remained with Rovers at the start of the second half, as the hosts continued to press and look for an equaliser to get them back into the game.
On 56 minutes, their hard work paid off, as Vicky Westerman found herself bearing down on goal, only to be brought down in the box and the referee had no choice but to point to the spot. The official failed to brandish even a yellow card to the last defender, who was fortunate to remain on the pitch. Danielle Whitham stepped up and made no mistake, firing a low shot into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal.
Rovers’ dominance continued, but finishing in front of goal let them down, as the game ended 1-1 and an additional 30 minutes loomed.
As extra-time got underway, Forest looked the more tired of the two teams and Rovers restricted them to very few passages of play.
Again chances came and went for Rovers, until in the 114th minute, they finally made the breakthough. A teasing corner from Hollie Kelsh wasn’t cleared by the Forest defence and the ball landed at the feet of Jade Newton, who fired a well-struck half-volley into the roof of the net to send Rovers into the next round.
Manager Zac Foley said: “I am very proud of the players and the way they applied themselves throughout.
“I thought we were slow to start and at times panicked in possession, trying to force the ball. At half-time we changed the formation and freed up our full-backs to push on and we had more joy, dominating the game in the second half all over the pitch.
“Again we created countless chances but failed to capitalise on them, which has been a problem over the last couple of weeks. But credit goes to the players for showing a great amount of character and team spirit to again come back from a deficit to win.
“The message in extra-time was to keep doing what we were doing and we would win the game, which we did. We also managed to get players, such as Emily Farrell, who have been out with injuries, a good amount of minutes, which was also a positive.
“We now have to focus back on the league away to Everton next weekend.”
ROVERS: Jackson, Rutter, Fuller, Weston, Lowrie (Newton 75), Moorhouse (Farrell 70), Flynn, Whitham, Boulton (Strickland 80), Westerman, Kelsh.
Subs not used: Deegan.