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Ladies in eight-goal thriller

11 September 2012

Katie Anderton bags another hat-trick as Rovers draw with Preston.

Preston North End 4-4 Rovers Ladies
Premier League Northern Division
Sunday September 9th, 2012

Katie Anderton scored a stunning late leveller to complete her second hat-trick of the season and secure a share of the spoils in an eight-goal thriller away to local rivals Preston.

Rovers had twice led early on, through Anderton, before two Gemma Watson penalties levelled the scores. Jenna Carroll and Sarah Walker headed home either side of half-time to send Preston into a 4-2 lead, before goals from substitute Nichol Forster and Anderton rescued a point for Rovers.

The visitors had started brightly and took the lead on seven minutes. Lagan Makin played in Anderton, who waltzed through the Preston defence, rounded the keeper and slotted home from an acute angle.

Six minutes later, Watson’s swerving shot from distance was parried by Krystal Parker, who then made a superb save to deny Alison Taberner on the follow-up. But as the Preston right-scored at the second attempt, Nicky Twohig was adjudged to have tugged her back and the referee pointed to the spot. Watson stepped up and fired home her penalty into the right-hand corner.  

Play had barely got back underway before Rovers regained their lead. Steph Marsh clipped over a cross from the left and Anderton got in behind the Preston defence to fire home.

But that was as good as it got for Rovers, as the hosts soon started to take control. Just before the half-hour mark, Twohig was again guilty of giving away a penalty, for handling Watson’s clever flick, and the Preston midfielder was relieved to see her spot-kick cross the line, after it had struck the base of the post and then looped up off Parker’s back. 

Six minutes before the break and Preston took the lead for the first time. Following a short corner, the ball came out to Mel Ball on the right and her cross was headed home by former Rover Jenna Carroll, out of Parker’s grasp.

Ball was the creator again as Preston extended their advantage just two minutes into the second half. After cutting in from the right, her left-foot cross was powerfully headed home by Walker.

Rovers made a double change on the hour mark and shortly after their arrival, the two substitutes combined to hand the visitors a lifeline. Beth Donoghue got the better of her full-back down the right and she centred for Nichol Forster to tap home.

Scott Rogers’ side were awarded a couple of free-kicks right on the edge of the area, which came to nothing, before the equaliser eventually arrived five minutes from time. Marsh made a great break down the left and her cross fell invitingly for Anderton, who smashed a superb volley on the run into corner of the net to complete her second hat-trick in as many games.

Rogers said: “This weekend has been a very tough lesson for us. We didn't perform at all, but still managed to come away with a point from being in a very tricky situation. 

“Katie Anderton and Kim Turner were fantastic today and their energy and quality throughout were key factors in getting something out of the game. 

“We showed great character and in the run-in it might turn out to be an important point. We all know we could have done better today, but it’s done now. 

“We must focus on getting a positive reaction for the Forest away game, which is going to be another very tough game, but I'm confident in my group of players. I still firmly believe in them and what we are trying to achieve together.” 

ROVERS: Parker, Cox (sub Pennington 67 mins), Roberts, Bennett, Marsh, Twohig, Turner, H. Forster (sub Donoghue 60 mins), Westerman (sub N. Forster 60 mins), Anderton, Makin.

Subs not used: Grice, Oates.

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