Evie Manning scored a second-half hat-trick as Rovers Ladies booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Women’s Cup courtesy of a 3-0 win at home to Middlesbrough.
After a goalless first-half, Manning’s quickfire treble secured a sixth straight win for Gemma Donnelly’s side.
Playing on the 3G pitch at Curzon Ashton due to the wet weather, Rovers took time to settle on the synthetic surface. Whilst they kept possession well, they didn’t do much with it in the final third.
The hosts eventually found their feet as the half drew to a close, with two good chances falling to Nichol Forster, who shot wide with the first and forced a fine save from the Boro stopper with the second.
Rovers started the second half strongly, moving the ball around quicker and being more positive in their play. The chances soon followed, as Nichol Forster picked out Manning, who chested the ball over the bar when perhaps she could have headed home.
The breakthrough eventually arrived on 54 minutes when a long ball forward found Manning, who outpaced the Boro defence, before slotting past the keeper.
Four minutes later, Zara Musker and Helen Seed combined well in midfield, before setting Manning up for her second. And Rovers’ number nine completed her hat-trick on 65 minutes after latching onto another through ball.
Assistant manager Amanda Goodwin said: “There is a real togetherness within the group at the moment and this result epitomised it.
“We only had 11 fit players, due to injuries and illness, but that didn’t faze the players, whose work ethic and attitude contributed to a really professional performance.
“Evie’s hat-trick will make the headlines, but it would be unfair to single any player out, because it was a real team effort. The atmosphere around the club at the minute is excellent, players and staff are really enjoying themselves and we go into Sunday’s game against Sheffield on a high.”
ROVERS: Hutcheson, Fleming, Seed, Savage, Pennington, Bourne, Westerman, H. Forster, Musker, Manning, N. Forster.
Subs not used: Adams.