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Ladies lose to Sporting Club

17 May 2013

Rovers' Ladies ended their 2012-13 campaign with a 2-0 loss to Sporting Club Albion.

It proved to be a game too far for Rovers' Ladies on Thursday evening as they slipped to a 2-0 loss to Sporting Club Albion.

The young Rovers side had performed admirably in recent weeks, putting in a run of five wins in a row to climb the FA Premier League North table but the match at Ewood caught up with them as Albion ran out worthy winners in their final match of the season.

A goal at the end of each half clinched the victory for the visitors as Natasha Baptiste netted on the stroke of half-time before the impressive Louise Fellows grabbed a deserved second with two minutes to go.

Andy Ramskill's Rovers battled throughout but clearcut chances were few and far between. The result means that they finish a creditable third in the league.

Under the Ewood Park lights both sides seemed to struggle to settle into their illustrious surroundings as the game started slowly.

In a first half in which goalmouth chances were few and far between, Rovers' best chance came from a flowing move involving Danielle Oates, Rhiannon Roberts and Keeleigh Savage but Jade Boulton fired just wide from inside the box.

At the other end Rovers had 'keeper Gemma Jackson to thank, first saving a Ashleigh Neville free-kick before coming out well out to deny the Albion forward after Robyn James had caught Danielle Cox in possession.

The half looked to be heading to a goalless conclusion when the visitors struck with the very last kick of the 45.

Midfielder Louise Fellows drove at the back line before threading the ball through for Natasha Baptiste and she beat both the offside trap and the advancing Jackson to put Sporting Club 1-0 up at the break.

Rovers boss Andy Ramskill responded by making two changes at half time with Beth Donoghue and Shannon Weston coming on but still it was the visitors who continued to force the pace.

Goalscorer Baptiste came close to doubling her tally with a turn and shot that flashed wide before Fellows saw her effort diverted behind by Roberts.

For Rovers, Weston fired wide after a forceful run from deep, then as Steph Marsh delivered a corner from the right Nicky Twohig's strike was blocked but from a tight angle Danielle Cox fired over the rebound.

Substitute Beth Donoghue added some much needed pace to the Rovers' front line but she fired narrowly wide on 69 minutes but it was a rare effort at goal as the home side struggled to open up a resilient Baggies side.

Ashleigh Neville should have doubled the visitor's lead with 17 minutes to go but fired wide when through on goal before Donoghue was denied by a strong clearance from Emily Owen.

Two minutes from time Albion wasted a great chance to grab a second as substitute Siobhan Hodgetts teed up Robyn James in front of goal but with time to shoot she was denied as Rhiannon Roberts put in a superb last ditch challenge to clear the ball.

The applause from that tackle was still ringing out when the ball did finally find the back of the net, Louise Fellows seizing the moment on the left of the area to hit a superb looping shot that flew into the opposing top corner leaving Jackson with no chance.

To their credit Rovers didn't let their heads drop and battled to the end, Weston saw a long-range strike land on the roof of the net whilst Donoghue's smart turn and run ended with her effort being saved low.

Speaking after the game coach Andy Ramskill said: "We have a young squad but they have shown a lot of character in the last seven games that I've been in charge, but they just haven't turned up on the night.

"The atmosphere was great, the fans were quality but it was just wasn't our day.

"We didn't have a 100% fit squad, we were playing with players who 70-80% fit throughout the whole game and it was difficult for us to get into it because I thought Sporting Albion really dominated.

"It is a shame that we finish the season on a low, but in my time we have been fantastic, to finish third in the league is a great achievement for the young squad, winning five in a row and being the only team to take points off the side at the top of the league.

"It is always a learning curve in football and I'm sure we'll come back stronger and better next year.

"We've got a bright future, we've got some good young players coming through."

ROVERS: Jackson, Oates, Twohig (c), Cox, Marsh, Westerman (sub Weston 46 mins), Roberts, Flynn, Savage (sub Donoghue 46 mins), N. Forster (sub Bland 63 mins), Boulton.

Subs not used: Noori, Fuller.

Goals: None.

Booked: Twohig.

ALBION: Foster,Key, Nyomen (sub Fowler 90 mins), Scott (sub Hodgetts 74 mins), Darby, Owens, Fellows, Griffiths, James, Neville, Baptiste (sub Pope 63 mins).

Subs not used: Barnett, Butler.

Goals: Baptiste 45 mins, Fellows 88 mins.

Booked: None.

Attendance: 133

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