A rain-soaked Rovers Ladies kicked off life at their new Darwen home with an emphatic 7-1 win over Padiham.
On their first outing at the Anchor Ground, Rovers rounded off their pre-season preparations in style after going goal crazy in the second half.
It was 1-1 at the break, as Danni Young’s 36th-minute opener was quickly cancelled out by Padiham’s number 10, who latched onto an under-hit back pass before beating Jo Hutchieson.
Rovers regained the lead just three minutes after the restart through Keeleigh Savage’s deflected strike and from then on it was one-way traffic.
Nichol Forster’s speculative shot from 25 yards looped into the top corner on 50 minutes, Lagan Makin burst onto a brilliant through ball to coolly slot home a 54th-minute fourth, before Steph Marsh fired in off the inside of the post less than 60 seconds later.
Rovers had to wait until the 66th minute for their sixth – Makin was sent scampering away down the left, before powering the ball past the keeper and Savage completed the rout three minutes later, rifling home the rebound after her initial effort was well saved.
Savage almost grabbed her hat-trick moments later, but her crisp strike bounced back off the bar.
Manager John Prince said: “The wet conditions made for a slick surface and we became a little bit frustrated in the first half, as we struggled in the final third to finish off our chances.
“In the second half, once we got that early goal, we got hold of the game by the scruff of the neck and I was really excited by our second-half performance.
“After going in front, we showed a real willingness to continue to pass the ball, to push forward and to score as many goals as possible, which was very encouraging.
“We’re not getting carried away, because we know that we will face tougher challenges in the league, but it was a worthwhile exercise to get the players familiar with their new home ground and it was good to get a confidence-boosting win under our belts ahead of the new season.”
ROVERS: Hutchieson, McLellan, Middleton, Twohig, Marsh (Hart 64), Bland (Makin 46), Williamson, Noori (Adams 56), Young, N. Forster (Anderton 55), Savage.
Rovers get their Women’s Premier League Northern Division campaign underway at home to newly-promoted Bradford City on Sunday August 25th, kick-off 2pm.